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One Old Gigolo Counsels Another | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

You take care now, Harold,
and don’t slip on the ice
looking for a good bookstore
on the streets of Chicago.

Print is dead, Harold,
and it’s being waked
in empty bookstores.
Soon all bookstores

will be dead, Harold,
and then you will have
no good reason
to go out on the ice.

At our age, Harold,
ice can be lethal
so take my advice
and do as I do:

Walk head down
even if there’s no ice
so you can avoid
not only the ice

but also the women
disgruntled with men.
Believe me, Harold,
they’re out there

armed with bumbershoots.
They prowl the streets now
more than when we were
young and dashing

and making them angry.
They haven’t forgotten us.
So for God’s sake, Harold,
go out for a walk but

bundle up and take your cane
and walk with your head down.
Do you believe in God, Harold?
I hope you do because

at our age, Harold, ice or a
woman could be the chariot
that takes us over the moon
faster than we’d like.

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