Poem Club: On Retirement

Desire for Retirement

by Roy Mash

Sometimes I envy my bed, 
how it gets to bask all day with the dog, 
the pair of them loafing on the 
quiet raft of the afternoon,

lulled in the lapping of the clock, 
the still life still on the wall, 
linens adrift on the shelf, 
the whole house awash with cushiness.

What is the work of the bed, 
but to bask all day with the dog? 
What is the work of the dog, 
but to quiver his ear at the phone? 

Somewhere is a midday world
of penny loafers and bargain matinees, 
saunas and marinas and 10 speeds
and laptops in strudel cafés.

Bored? Me? Not. My plan’s to saw off
one day from the next, 
to produce my quota of carbon dioxide,
to throw myself into the job 

of dabbing up the seeds that have fallen 
from an everything bagel 
(though, to be truthful, 
I may delegate this to my little finger),

to join the road gang of sleepers-in, 
pay my dues to Local 6 
of the lookers-out-of-windows, 
bow to the whims of my new boss

the TV Guide, take on the grunt work of doing zip;
then every afternoon 
at four, following my meeting
with the Committee of Clouds,

to return, exhausted from a long day
of breathing in and out, 
to the bed and the dog, and tilt
the glider of my nose ever so slightly down. 
The descent so easeful, so gradual. 
I won’t even know when I’m on the ground.


Roy Mash produces his quota of carbon dioxide in Marin County, California, where he indulges in a pensioner’s sense of entitlement dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel. Staring out of windows, he is given to mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared in Agni, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, Rhino, and River Styx among others. His first full-length book, Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove Collections), is due out later this year.


5 thoughts on “Poem Club: On Retirement

  1. My husband and I are eager to stop working…so we can have more time with one another. It’s a second marriage, 13 years in, and we work in an industry in chaos (journalism.) We both hate Sunday afternoons because Monday means another week apart. Sappy but true.

    1. A REAL journalist!! Glad to meet you. My son-in-law writes a column for Fierce Publications on the health-care industry. He’s an advocate of Obama-Care. Let’s just say I’m less enamored of it. Dinners are a delight!!

      I just browse the internet which, in my wheel-chaired world, let’s me go everywhere. My other blog, http://psychopedia.wordpress.com, is a digest of the intellectual foundations of Conservatism. Sounds good, doesn’t it; but its just a lark.

      Anyway, thanks for reading.


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