A Valentine’s Day Sonnet for an Old Couple

(from ideas suggested by John Cochrane)

The kids have left us. All the rooms upstairs
are empty of their noise. All that remains
are boxes in the attic—clothes, toy trains,
some picture books and dolls, old teddy bears.

Our friends are leaving. Some retiring south;
others taking jobs too far away
to visit much. A few, I’m sad to say,
divorced, or dead—the words twist in my mouth.

Our youth is gone: my hair, your girlish waist.
We’ve garnered wrinkles with the passing years,
the lines beside your eyes more laughs than tears—
your beauty’s changed, but it can still be traced.

They’ve left us here, two old caretakers of
a different time—but one no better, Love.

—Lester Smith

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