We who survived the war and took to wife
And sired the kids and made the decent living,
And piecemeal furnished forth the finished life
Not by grand theft so much as petty thieving–
Who had the routine middle-aged affair
And made our beds and had to lie in them
This way or that because the beds were there,
And turned our bile and choler in for phlegm–
Who saw grandparents, parents, to the vault
And wives and selves grow wrinkled, grey and fat
And children through their acne and revolt
And told the analyst about all that–
Are done with it. What is there to discuss?
There’s nothing left for us to say of us.
— Howard Nemerov