Bio Note: I retired last June after 38 years of teaching special education, English and math at Joel Barlow High School. I was enjoying the luxury of self-imposed exile, but it doesn't seem so special anymore. Thank god for my writing groups and my poetry class (and my wife) for human contact. More poems at jackpowers13.com/poetry
When I Tell the Neighbors I've Retired
Denial’s the first stage. No way! they say. How long you been teaching? But some jump right To anger. I hate you! They squint their eyes, Squeeze their rakes or leashes, ready to strike. Then they start to bargain: How old are you? Their heads tilt. They do their own math. That leads To depression. I can’t ever retire. I changed jobs/had children late/didn’t save. Bit by bit they make it to acceptance. Well, good for you! You deserve it. That’s great! As if talking themselves into it. Then they gaze off, dream of their own retirement. Soon I notice more dog poops on my lawn, Blown leaves in the yard, more car horns at dawn.
©2020 Jack Powers
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