Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Jack Oakie Looks at Retirement

Ben Norwood

The left knee wobbles.
Pretty young women call me sir.
My children have children.
I've seen more doctors lately
Than I've seen good movies.
I reach for the channel changer
More often than the dictionary.

I ply my love now
Not with booze but old movies,
Hollywood films of the thirties.
I praise their sappy outlook
While growing more wily,
Defining life in functions of cash.


Philly Conundrum

Ben Norwood

While jaywalking a street in Philly,
I glimpsed a sign on a city van,
"Juvenile Justice," written there. Really?
I said to myself before I ran
To avoid an oncoming cab, and read
As I passed the van's south end,
"Our children are our future," printed in red.
Still I wonder, though I have from Philly fled,
Whom do the van's barred windows defend?
Are our children thus protected
Or is a baleful future now in hand?


Ben Norwood is a member of the Tennessee Writer’s Alliance. He is the author of one book of poetry, Plenum, which was published by the SRLR Press in 1999, and the forthcoming The Odes of Ricardo Reis.

© Ben Norwood

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012