By Howard Altmann Howard Altmann
An old man with a new hat
is running out of pride.
I want to tell the truth
but I don’t know how.
The wind is our best pen
and it blows poetry out of the water.

I wait for days and weeks to enter
a feeling that’s had years to leave.
The ocean keeps throwing questions
it has all the answers to.
A candle lights a room
and dims the stars.

When all that consoled consoles no longer
loneliness finds a room inside the one it knows.
I am shrinking from the light
and turning into space.
An old man with a new hat
wears his smile in the dark.

Source: Poetry (October 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2009


Howard Altmann is the author of In This House (Turtle Point Press, 2010), his second book of poems. He lives in New York City.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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