Hang in There

Baby, don’t joke that you will

Die before sixty.

I don’t want to be doing

That last load of laundry, going

Through your pockets

Only to find some tiny

Screws, a red loop of Velcro,

A receipt for M&M’s-

Just the thought

Makes me crumble.

It’s a sharp twist of agony.

You may be the bane

Of my jab-jabbing tirades,

But yours is the only hand

I want to be holding on that

Wrinkly nude beach or along

The streets of Reykjavik or

Down the hall of our condo

To whip up a modest

Supper for two.

I know I annoy you

With my vagary and my adjectives,

But do what you must.

Keep that tired muscle squeezing

Blood from brain to toes:

Buy a thousand haunted albums.

Swim up a river of sugar pop.

Tear down the house

And build it again.

Start believing you are

Adama and I am Roslin and

We are about to embark on

A terrible adventure called

Old Age Together.

Whatever it takes,

As long as we ride into

That fog side-by-side.

As long as we

Come full circle,

Round the bend

Past money

Struggle and kids and back to

You and me.

I’ll crab about your loud chewing

And you can pretend to be

Mad that I pulled the best

Letters in Scrabble.

I will buy you so many

Cherry fruit leathers that

We can carpet

The bedroom and pave the

Driveway, then

You can make your sticky way

As slowly as you need to,

Since your teeth may not

Be what they once were.

And I will be glad

(So glad)

That you are still around.