Old Couple

By Charles Simic b. 1938 Charles Simic
They’re waiting to be murdered,   
Or evicted. Soon
They expect to have nothing to eat.   
In the meantime, they sit.

A violent pain is coming, they think.
It will start in the heart
And climb into the mouth.
They’ll be carried off in stretchers, howling.

Tonight they watch the window   
Without exchanging a word.   
It has rained, and now it looks   
Like it’s going to snow a little.

I see him get up to lower the shades.   
If their window stays dark,
I know his hand has reached hers
Just as she was about to turn on the lights.

Charles Simic, “Old Couple” from Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Charles Simic. Reprinted with the permission of George Braziller, Inc.

Source: Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems (George Braziller Inc., 1999)

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Poet Charles Simic b. 1938

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Marriage & Companionship, Growing Old, Health & Illness, Weather, Living, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Charles  Simic

Biography

Charles Simic is widely recognized as one of the most visceral and unique poets writing today. Simic’s work has won numerous awards, among them the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and, simultaneously, the Wallace Stevens Award and appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate. He taught English and creative writing for over thirty years at the University of New Hampshire. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Growing Old, Health & Illness, Weather, Living, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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