P. O. Box 856
1286 County Road 400
Kirbyville, Texas 75956
Having withdrawn from the existential struggle,
Surrendering their arms and protest signs,
They muster in Denny’s for the Senior Special
Uniformed in knee-pants and baseball caps
And Chinese tees that read “World’s Greatest Grandpa,”
Hearing aids and trifocs at parade rest,
And quadrupedal aluminum sticks
Raging against the oxygen machine.
Not trusting anyone over ninety,
They rattle their coffee cups and dentures
Instead of suspicious Nixonians,
And demand pensions, not revolution.
They mourn classmates dead, not The Grateful Dead.
They do not burn their Medicare cards
Tho’ once they illuminated the world
With their flaming conscription notices.
They no longer read McKuen or Tolkien
Or groove to the Mamas and the Papas;
Their beads and flowers are forever filed
In books of antique curiosities
Beside a butterfly collection shelved
In an adjunct of the Smithsonian
Where manifestos go to be eaten
By busy mice and slow-pulsing fungi.
As darkness falls they make the Wheel, not peace -
They did not change the world, not at all, but
The world changed anyway, and without them,
And in the end they love neither Jesus
Nor Siddhartha, but only cable t.v.