Voices and Verses

National Poetry Month: “The Joy of Seniorhood” By Francis T. Goodbeer

The Houston poet reads a poem inspired by what she calls the most exciting time of her life.

In this sound portrait, we meet poet Francis T. Goodbeer. She describes her earliest memory of poetry, how a poem can wake her up in the middle of the night and why she loves her writing class. She reads her poem, “The Joy of Seniorhood.”

Francis T. Goodbeer is a retired nurse (RN, BSN) and a graduate of Prairie View A&M University. In recent years, she has been pursuing creative writing through Inprint’s Senior Memoir Workshop at Finnigan Park Community Center. Her hobbies include yoga, Pilates and weight training, and she loves to read supernatural fantasy novels, especially vampire romance. She is a native Houstonian and has a daughter. Goodbeer dreams of one day writing a poetry collection about the impact and complexities of incest, with the hope of reaching those who have experienced the pain and betrayal of incest and the people who love them.

 

The Joy of Seniorhood

 

“Of course”… I’ve aged!

The “up-shot” is … I’m. not. In. My. Grave!

I no longer have a husband

I’m no longer a wife.

I’m “now-in-charge”

Not a slave to my life.

I’m thrilled to say I’ll always be a mother.

I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My youthful looks have lost their charm.

In their place a natural grace is formed.

I’ve outgrown my immaturity

Along with my insecurity.

I dance in the splendor of seniorhood.

 

Who would have known I’d feel better at …

Seventy! Than I did at twenty-one!

The evolution of aging has expanded

My emotional horizon in every direction.

In the “ordinary” I see the “extra-ordinary.”

The grass has gotten greener.

The sky has gotten bluer.

The present has gotten brighter.

My burden has gotten lighter.

The money has gotten small

Little does it matter!

I have it all!

 

With freedom, joy, love and friends

I have it all!

I dance in the splendor of my seniorhood

Where life has gotten gooder than good!

 

This poem first appeared in The Finnigan Anthology 2017 – 2018 and is reprinted with permission of the author.

Music used: Valse Pour Maman (excerpt) by Alexandra Stréliski from Pianoscope, Annabel Lee (excerpt) by Edgar Allan Poe read by Basil Rathbone, Dies Irie (excerpt) by Kenji Bunch from Ahn Trio: Lullaby For My Favorite Insomniac, Romanze, op. 28, no. 2 (excerpt) by Robert Schumann from Timothy Hester: The Classical 91.7 Sessions and Hang on Little Tomato (excerpt) by Pink Martini from Hang on Little Tomato

To learn more about this series, go here.

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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