Robert Ronnow
                                             Long As You're Living



            Rules for Old Men Waiting


                       --title from a novel by Peter Pouncey

Jack awoke in his usual pain, un-
daunted by it. We're all gonna die
someday is his morning mantra these days.
Isolate the variable, anything
you do to one side of the equation
you gotta do to the other. Practice
zen, eat less, an empty belly's holy.
These are the rules for old men waiting.

On the other hand, attachment to self
and to things to do. Clean the house, watch for war.
Count syllables, teach English to immigrants
from Slovakia or Syria.
Advocate vocational education
in the schools. Jack has much to do, a new
administration, low social security.
He goes slow as the day will allow.


Copyright 2017 by Robert Ronnow. Acknowledgements.