Old Men

Original Text: 
Carol Shields, Intersect: Poems (Ottawa: Borealis Press, 1974): 42.
1First to come
2the disabling treachery
3of language
4the slow spaced notes
5of speech that detach
6themselves and words that freeze
7up suddenly so much for wisdom
8then the surprised foliage
9of age
10hoarse phrases that catch
11in folded throats
12beg your pardon please
13if you will please
14excuse me allow me permit me
15help me forgive me please please
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

"Old Men" © copyright the Estate of Carol Shields. Printed gratis,
and specifically for <i>Representative Poetry Online</i>,
with permission of her Estate. Any other use,
including reproduction for any purposes,
educational or otherwise, will require explicit
written permission from the Estate of Carol Shields.