Author’s Note: “Ode” has its origins in two things that happened the same week at about the time I turned seventy-four. First, in one of my writing groups, there is a retired nun who spent much of her working life in Africa caring for people who were dying of AIDS. She knows I am a non-believer but said to me, “There are many different ways of believing.” Also, my wife told me I should get an extravagant car while I could still enjoy it. The poem represents my psyche bringing these comments into relation with each other.
I’m at the age I want to believe,
even though it’s unlikely
I ever will. But if I did, it would
have a touch of the Christian to it.
The part about hope and in that hope,
joy. I hear it sometimes in buskers,
those singing on the streets because
they have to sing, and they have to sing.
It echoes too in the valley of my wife’s
deep tenor when she sings Raglan
Road or The Parting Glass for me.
Lately, I feel it in my body as I begin
to recover from physical failings
that might have been permanent.
And I hear and feel it on the weekly
face-to-face calls with my children
and theirs, a late reprieve from
keeping so much to myself. It might
be that they’ve forgiven me, at least
a little. I even feel the ironies in my
wife’s thought that I should get
a new, extravagant car, just this once,
now that the end is closer. She fears
for me and hopes for me. What more
at this age could I ask?
Arnie Yasinski is a retired college administrator, born in American and now living in Ireland with his Irish wife. He’s a father and grandfather with a PhD in English and BA from Indiana University. He wrote his first poem at fifty and has published poetry in four dozen US journals. He has two collections, Proposition and God Lives in Norway and Goes by Christie, both published by 21st Century Renaissance press in Ireland. He earned an MBA in finance from University of Michigan. Website: www.arnieyasinskipainterpoet.com
Delmarva Review selects the best of new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from thousands of submissions during the year. Designed to encourage outstanding writing from authors everywhere, the literary journal is a nonprofit and independent publication. Support comes from tax-deductible contributions and a grant from Talbot Arts with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. Website: www.DelmarvaReview.org