by Patricia Fleming
(New Jersey)

By Patricia Fleming

Laughter now comes easily.
I don’t take life so seriously.
I feel more sure of who I am
And care less what people see.

I’m in my 7th decade now
So I have my share of aches.
It’s a slow and bitter process
To face the day when I awake.

There will be moans and groans,
Perhaps a curse or ten.
As I mount a battle with my body
That I’m determined I can win.

And then the sun in all her glory
Beckons gently through the blinds,
And a thrill goes through me magically
As gloomy thoughts escape my mind.

And suddenly I’m smiling,
That dismal moment quickly passed,
And now I have the strength and energy
To do my favorite thing and laugh.

I can laugh away the nagging pain.
I can laugh away the blues.
My laughter always saves me
From that impending sense of doom.

Still the battle rages on.
But this soldier will hang tough.
I’ve been granted another lovely day
And that’s a gift I won’t rebuff.

Now I must confront my mirror
And it displays no sympathy.
It seems to magnify each wrinkle
With ruthless skill indeed.

I think I see a thousand more.
Those furrows deeply plowed by night.
Balloon-like bags beneath my eyes
That say, “She must have lost that fight!”

But then I never was a beauty queen.
There were scanty second glances.
I seldom made a man go weak
And I rejected few advances.

Then what started as a chuckle
Became a grand and hearty laugh
As I envisioned those senior hips of mine
Swaying boldly while old codgers passed

I’ll simply laugh away those wrinkles.
I’ll guffaw and I will giggle.
And see that all along it was my laughter
That became those honored wrinkles.

They are my medals and my ribbons.
They give me character and class.
So there’s no need to be self-conscious,
Just thank God I still can laugh!

Spic and span with subtle lipstick
Though there’s no place I have to be.
So I’ll take my daily, healthy stroll
To see what I can see.

I’ll pass all those busy people
With working on their minds,
While I can walk without a worry
And take my own precious, sunny time.

I will offer my warmest, sweetest smile
To all those who appear downcast.
But I paid my own dues for half my life
So I may just laugh behind their backs.

I’ll laugh because I’m finally free.
I’ll laugh because I did my best.
I’ll chortle and I’ll tittle
And move ahead on my aged quest.

Early to sleep I must confess
Whether on the couch or in my bed.
My body grows more tired now
So I must rest my weary head.

But in my dreams I’m laughing.
I don’t shed as many tears.
I enjoy each blessed moment
As that last moment draws ever near.

So to all those treasured geriatrics,
Try to move forward instead of back.
And whether living today or recalling the past
Find the humor and let yourself laugh!

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