Margo Roby, in her Tuesday Tryouts, gave us a visual prompt, a painting of Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod (see below). All we need to do is write a character sketch about what we see in the painting. Oddly enough, the couple in the painting could have been modeled by my mother and father. That made this one a little easier and a lot harder.

by Mike Patrick

Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod--click to enlarge

I watch him playing with the dog;
something all three of us enjoy.

Forty-eight years with the same company
made retirement comfortable—financially.
He worked hard for it, deserves it.

The house is paid for,
our kids have graduated from college;
now we’re able to help the grandkids.

Forty-six years of marriage:
so rare these days.
We’re from a generation that married for life,
and it’s a good marriage.
He’s a good man.

We traveled a little last year
after his retirement party.
Not so much this year.
Travel is a hassle.

Lassie is tired now. So is my man.
She will only play about thirty minutes,
and that’s about how long he can throw a ball.
Time for me to help him up and get him inside.
This damp air is aggravating his cough.
He’s a good man.

This entry was posted in Aging, Family, Free Verse, Life, Love, Narrative Poem, Poetry, Tuesday Tryouts, Un-rhyming and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to THE GOLDEN YEAR

  1. margo roby says:

    Fascinating. I don’t know if you meant it to come across this way, but the speaker seems to have an unspoken “but” after several statements. I like getting a picture of him through her, and then, because she is the speaker, getting a picture of her, and of the relationship.


  2. vivinfrance says:

    I love the way you have focused on “He was a good man”.

  3. Janet says:

    A true pleasure, this poem, and the reality jolt in the last two lines! This is very captivating and no one needs the picture to see it!

  4. Tilly Bud says:

    From the start there’s a feeling of anxiety; as Margo put it so well, a ‘but’. Nicely done, Mike.

  5. earlybird says:

    Her love and contentment shine through clearly.

  6. zumpoems says:

    Very warm poem — personna speaks with a very loving tone!

  7. gerimomg says:

    I loved that you chose to do this from the woman’s perspective. I could feel her love for him, her fears, her strong commitment and her own tiredness…

  8. tmhHoover says:

    As “gerimomg” says you can feel her love and fears for him. I really like this poems clarity… and I love the words “He’s a good man.” and would even like to see it one more place in the poem. Just because really like those words… I can hear her saying them.

  9. Mary says:

    Well expressed, Mike. I can see you really had some identity with the Hopper painting. Yes, a good man. 48 years with the same company and 46 years married is indeed quite something these days. I can feel the love in this poem!

  10. Kelly E. says:

    Mike, this has such a strong, authentic voice. The narrator speaks from a place of experience, simple honesty, and time-tested love. Beautiful poem.

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