Gail White


Ballade of an Elderly Fogey

Twitter who will, I cannot hear.
Spotify, Snapchat fail me quite.
TikTok is some remote frontier.
Cursive is all that I can write.
Here I sit like a troglodyte,
Unable to meet High Tech demands.
One thought eases my painful plight:
I can tell time on a clock with hands.

I can remember the very year
JFK died; the sickening fright
When the Twin Towers fell; the rousing cheer
I gave when Nixon resigned—all right!
Yes, I’m older than anthracite,
But I heard all of the coolest bands.
I was in Woodstock at its height
And I can tell time on a clock with hands.

For my lost youth I shed no tear:
I was a brilliant neophyte.
Everyone swore I’d have no peer,
Whether I chose to paint or write.
Now I’ve journeyed through bloom and blight,
Boom and bust, and in many lands—
And in the end my gift was slight:
I can tell time on a clock with hands.

Young people, thinking yourselves so bright,
Here is what none of you understands:
I may be vanishing into night,
But I can tell time on a clock with hands.

Gail White has been part of the Formalist poetry movement from its beginning, has outlived some of its journals, and still submits to all she can find. She is proud to be a contributing editor of Light and also a frequent contributor to Lighten Up Online. Her book Asperity Street and chapbook Catechism can be found on Amazon. She is the resident cat lady of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.