Being old


Being old happens when you
live long enough,
the hair on your head

turning white or falling out;
your steps,
once confident, falter,

so you carry a cane
with a spike on the end
so when the snow falls

and you go out for a walk
or to and from the bus,
you don’t slip and fall.

Then, one day, you hesitate
when you look out the window
and stay home, recalling

what your mother said, that
old age is not for sissies, it’s
for the brave, who look at life’s

realities and see them as
challenges. Looked at
this way, possibilities appear.

You buy two nordic
walking sticks, and
use them. You find

exercises that are important,
and you put them in your
“to do” list, then do them.

Instead of losing hope,
you regain it by
doing what you need

to do to keep yourself
healthy, fit, and interested
in the world around you

until the end, which
comes when it
is ready.


About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at
This entry was posted in Aging, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Being old

  1. Lamar says:

    Thank you George. It reminds me of what James Hillman wrote about in the Souls Code. Growing down is something that touches me where I am. Blessings to you and yours as you continue the journey.

  2. Paul says:

    Very nice poem, but the picture doesn’t look at all like you. 🙂 I feel another song coming on.

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