What happened to the golden years
rocking on the porch, unstitched from time
wearing seraphic smiles and old sweats
sipping tea or slurping vodka
or finally tackling In Search of Lost Time?
Relieved the kids are finally launched.
No requests for money, no midnight
phone calls, no need to cosign leases
on a sixth floor walk-up. Easing into the future
ignoring knife’s shadow on the wall.

And here comes Mason, limping home from Seattle.
Laid off from Amazon “to streamline costs”
bringing his mangy mutt who shits on the carpet
and pees on the pillows. My office
returns to a teen’s bedroom, blasting
heavy metal that hurts my ears.
I write morose poetry at the kitchen table
as dirty dishes pile in the sink, clumps
of laundry clog the halls, damp towels
molder on the bathroom floor, and food
for dinner is demolished before noon.
Exactly the way it was when he lived here.
Only I am sulky and snappish, resenting this
spoiler of my retirement, this freeloader from Seattle,
this man-child I love.