For Fifty Years

When did they meet?
Itís hazy nowóbut
comfortably they are four
and sometimes two plus two

the wives gloat about grandchildren
not better than but perfect in their own light

and share sadness
not always so easy to share
but easier if shared

two play word games quite competitively
though one is not yet skillful enough

two talk boat lore
and are happiest messing about at the shore

and all four grow older
limiting the talk of ailments
to no more than 10 minutes of the hour.

And they ignore each otherís decline
the shaky hands, unsteady walk
the memory lapses that scare them

still they are here
and testify to friendship


Lari Smith