by John M. Brantingham
John M. Brantingham

John M. Brantingham has had over a hundred poems and stories published in magazines in America and England such as Tears in the Fence, Askew, Confrontation, The Journal, Pearl, Freefall, The Acorn, and The Wandering Dog. He is one of two fiction editors for The Chiron Review. He was recently featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

It doesn't take long for people to get old.
Mostly it happens in an afternoon
or maybe one early morning.

The man who comes home earlier
than his wife thought he would
goes back to work bitter and defeated.

The woman who ran 5K races
slips in the shower
and is finally 87 years old,

and the girl who went in for surgery
that didn't go right, won't be young again
until much, much later.

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