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(my Mother) Retirement Plans - Poem by Janice Windle

“When I grow old, ” said my mother, “I’ll change my life.
I’ll rent a garret on the Left Bank of the Seine
in Paris, give up being a mother and a wife,
spend my days painting, drink red wine all night,
my friends will be artists - maybe I’ll write.

“But what about Dad? ” I objected.
My mother reflected.
“He’ll be okay, ” she said.
“He’ll buy a djellabi, sandals, a scarab
and live in the desert, along with the Arabs.
He’s learning the lingo at evening class.
He’ll go over to Gaza” – I thought, what a gas!

I’d spend April in Paris, winter with Dad –
there was going to be some fun to be had!
I hoped that my parents’ dreams all would come true –
but after all that they just moved down to Bude!


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