Middle Age

By Jason Shinder 1955–2008 Jason Shinder
Many of my friends are alone
and know too much to be happy
though they still want to dive
to the bottom of the green ocean
and bring back a gold coin
in their hand. A woman I know wakes
in the late evening and talks
to her late husband,
the windows blank photographs.
On the porch, my brother,
hands in pockets,
stares at the flowing stream.
What’s wrong? Nothing.
The cows stand
in their own slow afternoons.
The horses gather
wild rose hips in the sun
the way I longed for someone
long ago. What was it like?
The door opening
and no one on either side.

Jason Shinder, “Middle Age” from Stupid Hope. Copyright © 2009 by Jason Shinder. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org


Source: Stupid Hope (Graywolf Press, 2009)

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Poet Jason Shinder 1955–2008

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Midlife, Life Choices, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Born in Brooklyn, poet and editor Jason Shinder grew up there and in Merrick, New York. He earned a BA at Skidmore College.
 
Shinder is the author of three collections of poetry: the posthumously published Stupid Hope (2009), Among Women (2001), and Every Room We Ever Slept In (1993), a New York Public Library Notable Book. In a review of Among Women, poet Carol Muske-Dukes observed, “I don’t know of any male poet that . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Midlife, Life Choices, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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