I start to age ten minutes out of bed,
More fragile now but not yet dead.
My son-in-law hovers round me when I walk
In case I stumble as we talk.
My daughter’s gift to me: a three-pronged cane
Concealed within the quiche Lorraine.
A stranger volunteers his seat to me.
The spine’s the bane of the elderly,
L4 and L5 express their relief
At respite for their commander-in-chief.
Since others hold a door with a “There you go,”
Call me “Papa” as I walk slow,
And tell me that “The door button’s on the left,”
I go home feeling less bereft.


Michael Glassman is a 75-year-old retired Social Studies teacher living in Newburgh, N.Y.

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4 Responses

  1. E. V.

    Good morning! I love the title’s wordplay (Withering Heights > Withering Slights) Brilliant! It’s definitely a humourous poem that I enjoyed reading. The cane/Lorraine rhyme is good, but I’m a little confused on how a quiche can conceal a cane? It’s good that today’s young people respectfully offer their seats to the elderly.

  2. David Hollywood

    What a wonderfully reflective poem opening all the pangs of reflection as we grow older. Many thanks.


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