At Ninety by Yvona Fast

At Ninety

When she gets anxious
and asks five times
how often she needs to take the new med…
Listen, and be mindful.
She’s ninety.

When your voice goes up in frustration,
and guilt sets in…
be patient,
walk in her shoes.
think how hard it is for her
at ninety.

In spite of your impatience
she thanks you
for reminding her when she forgets
and says she can no longer live
without your help,
how much she needs you
at ninety.

She tells you she’s lived too long…
She feels useless,
broken –
at ninety.

There are so many things to do.
Phone calls to
electricians, doctors, insurance companies.
Daily chores
like cooking supper and cleaning up,
washing clothes,
vacuuming, dusting, cleaning…

It’s time to put away those ski boots
I was going to store away a month ago
but couldn’t find the energy
or time.

At least we’re fortunate to go on walks –
Even at ninety.
Except today
when rain is pouring,
then changing to large flakes of snow
on this last April day.


Yvona Fast’s poems have appeared in many disparate literary journals and anthologies in the last dozen years. Yvona immigrated to the US when she was 9. When not writing or cooking, she can be found outdoors in all seasons. Yvona’s three poetry chapbooks can be found at Her poetry collection, Loon Summer, is due to be released later this year.