The Grinning Years
I hate these grinning middle years,
between the surliness of youth and crabbed old age,
I hate the way we have to force a smile,
while inwardly we rage.
I hate the way we smirk at strangers
in Sunday playgrounds, hunched against the weather,
I hate that grimace we exchange that says,
we’re all in this together.
I hate the PTA and sponsored walks,
the blithe assumption that we give a flying fuck,
I hate the constant need to show concern
at others’ lousy luck.
I hate our shapeless jogging pants,
the careworn cardigans that make us look like wrecks,
I hate the way we dress as if to say,
too old and tired for sex.
I hate our veering trolleys loaded
with dwarf corn, fresh spinach soup, profiteroles,
I hate the way we feed our puffy bodies while
we starve our hungry souls.
Oh god, I hate these grinning middle years.