This is a poem written after a brief but meaningful conversation in the lobby lounge. I never asked the gentleman’s name, it seemed silly after discussing important life conclusions; regressive somehow. It would have been like asking for steak sauce at Mason Street Grill.


My wife and I were able

to travel the world.


All those years

my colleagues

missed t-ball games,

and watched sunsets

through office window blinds.

We were in our 30’s, then our 40’s

– just starting out

and I urged them not to wait til 65, or 70

while we visited Australia, New Zealand,

South America, Europe several times,

we always loved Europe.


Last year we took a road trip

around the U.S.

That was pretty tough.

Not at all

like our other trips.

My wife, she’s…


My wife is not well now

and when one of you isn’t well

neither of you feels well.

The travel is hard now.


My colleagues, I talk to them,

-good people mind you,

but we’re old.

They’ve planned their retirement

and their grandchildren will inherit

college educations


But the difference

is that some of us

went to see the world

when we could

and some of us didn’t.

All that money doesn’t mean anything, now.

Even to an accountant.


You’re young. You’ll know someday

what I’m talking about.


You never believe

at your age

that you’ll get to be my age.

It starts with your friends.

You suddenly wonder,

“When did they all get so old?”


Oh, I remember that grin. It’s a beautiful thing.

At your age

I was convinced

I’d never have gray hair

or wear a hearing aid.


But the time spends like water my friend

and you’ll never think you’re old

until one day you are.



Well, best of luck to you young man.

I believe I’ll finish this Manhattan

Bartender, may I settle my tab,

and see how this city looks

from the 23rd floor.



Ed Makowski is a poet/writer/artist/radio personality/gatherer of stories and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While working as Eddie Kilowatt…