Cathy Hollister is a champion of ageist poetry. A retired public health professional, she fills her time with grandchildren, reading, hiking, and leading dances. When not writing you might find her on the dance floor enjoying the company of friends or deep in the woods basking in the peace of solitude. Her work has been in Humans of the World Blog, Open Door Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Poet’s Choice anthologies, and others. Her new book Seasoned Women is available at Poet’s Choice. She lives in middle Tennessee; find her online at www.cathyhollister.com
Growing older is full of opportunities. That is the philosophy expressed Seasoned Women: A
Collection of Poems by Cathy Hollister. Poems in the book begin in autumn with contentment and reflection. Winter brings some harder times of depression though always tempered by hope. Spring and summer laugh, appreciate the wonders of nature, and the joys of family. A must for readers of a certain age, Seasoned Women calls to attention some benefits of growing older that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
I ALWAYS WASH THE DISHES ALONE
Noise from the TV in the next room tries to reach me
but it shies away from the task at hand.
It doesn’t peek around the corner, lest it be asked
to dry, to stack, to scrape.
My secret hand spa is mine alone.
Warm water softens stiff joints,
made stiffer by the unpaid bill on the counter;
a worry for another day.
The soft swish, swish of the sponge
whisks away the clotted remains of snubbed vegetables
and gobbled mac & cheese.
The satisfying squeak of thumb on degreased china
fills my fairy bubble,
my armor of chores
where evenly spaced plates,
the good little children,
line up clean, stately,
and cater to my every wish to behave, stand still, and wait.
I’ll never tell how much I enjoy this.
At six years old, in a new school,
first grade games taught him so much.
Be good, play fair, yes that’s the rule,
not always easy to follow such.
First grade games taught him so much,
playing checkers with his friends.
Not always easy to follow such
straight roads. Turn to devious bends?
Playing checkers with his friends,
play fair and lose? Or to devise?
Straight roads turn to devious bends.
So tempting, victory the shiny prize.
Play fair and lose? Or to devise.
The man recalls his early years.
So tempting, victory, the shiny prize,
but squandered trust brought on fears.
The man recalls his early years
at checkers and their playground games.
But squandered trust brought on fears,
when he was left alone and shamed.
At checkers and their playground games,
honesty first took its roots.
When he was left alone and shamed,
he was not picked for Duck, Duck, Goose.
Honesty first took its roots.
He knew why, though it was cruel,
he was not picked for Duck, Duck, Goose,
at six years old, in a new school.