Katherine Barrett Swett


An Old Couple in My Building

The very old are prodigies again.
Did you hear her? A whiz. She just recalled
five facts that I forgot; she puts my brain
to shame.
Her husband’s ninety and not bald,
as handsome as he was when they first met.
She talks as easily of yesterday
as years ago. There’s nothing she’ll forget,
including every foolish thing you say.
Before he goes out, he is sure to fix
his tie and handkerchief—he’s trim and sleek.
and she’s up on the latest from Netflix
and what occurred in politics last week.
Two prodigies: she’s sharp and he’s exquisite—
I wonder why their children never visit?

Katherine Barrett Swett‘s manuscript, Voice Message, was chosen by Erica Dawson as the 2019 winner of The Donald Justice Poetry Award. Autumn House Press will publish the book in 2020.