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Thinning Out

by Chris Sorrenti

ten years ago
my son and I sat on these very same chairs
he still young enough then
I could drag him out to such events
now a man himself, he’s left my side
to find his own room full of chairs

despite the empty seats
those of us remaining
joke nervously about how no one in the room
is below the age of thirty
even at that, few under fifty

at least we haven’t lost our sense of humor, I say
almost the baby of the group at forty-five
catching Juan O'Neill, purposefully bald
tease Russell Smith about his regal appearance
of long white beard, crown of gray hair
at least he has all his I rib Juan facetiously

room 156 at the National Library
another book launch
for me, the first one attended here in five years
the last time had in fact been Russ’
Why We Stand Facing South
he read to a packed hall
including his wife
now visibly absent from the room
as I notice there are others present
without their soulmates
Janice without Marty
Grant and Ruby
so on and so forth

finally, the poet of the evening stands up to read
he looks frail, thinner since the last time I saw him
a hired photographer snaps his picture
then turns the camera toward the audience

I wish he’d have been here ten years ago

© 2003
Revised © 2018

340 hits as of September 2018


Posted on 01/08/2018
Copyright © 2018 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/10/18 at 06:00 PM

The passage of time eloquently expressed here with the guys' hairlines, the empty chairs, you son finding his own room full of chairs. A really great flow to this and a wishful last line. Thanks, Chris.

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