I inherit

the old guy next door died
last week,
he was 95 or 96,
I am not sure.
but I am now the old fart
of the neighborhood.
when I bend over to
pick up the morning
paper
I think of heart attack
or when I swim in my
pool
alone
I think,
Jesus Christ,
they’ll come back and
find me floating here
face down,
my 8 cats about the
edge
licking and
scratching.
dying’s not bad,
it’s that little transition
from here to
there
that’s strange
like flicking the light
switch to
off.

I’m now the old fart,
been working at it for
some time,
still drinking now and
then until 3 a.m. or
so
but now have to work
in new factors:
have to forget to zip up
entirely,
wear slippers instead of
shoes,
wear my glasses on a
thong,
fart loudly in the
supermarket,
wear unmatched
socks,
back my car into a
garbage can.
I must shorten my
stride, take small
mincing steps
develop a squint,
bow my head,
ask, “what?   what’s
that you said?”

I’ve got to get ready,
whiten my hair,
have a prostate
operation.
I want you to know me
when you see
me:
I’m the old fart
in the neighborhood
and you can’t tell me
a damn thing I don’t
know.
respect your elders,
sonny, and get the
hell out of my
way!