Old Lovers by Gail White

Old lovers sleep in double beds

(They do not need much space to sleep).

With curve of arm and bend of leg,

They shape themselves for dreaming deep.

Old lovers feel each other’s breath

As ships in harbor feel the tide:

A subtle current underneath

That pulls them to each other’s side.

Old lovers know their lover’s touch:

Even in sleep, the warmth is there

Lifting the mind’s unconscious latch,

Bridging the intervening air.

Old lovers wake in double beds

(Narrow, but with room for two)

And kiss with white and nodding heads,

Ready to see the white hairs through.


Gail White has edited three anthologies (including The Muse Strikes Back) and published 3 books of poetry, the latest being The Accidental Cynic. Her new chapbook,  Sonnets in a Hostile World, is available from Amazon. She writes her poems on the banks of Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Author’s note: In a love letter to Sarah Teasdale, Vachel Lindsay writes, “If we do as well at the age of sober old folks as our sober old folks, we will do as well as mortal clay can expect.  We must see the gray hairs through.  It is all a part of the game, and we must not refuse the game because it will not be all the first day of spring.” (Qtd. Margaret Haley Carpenter, Sara Teasdale: A Biography. Schulte Publishing, 1960, p. 206.)


5 thoughts on “Old Lovers by Gail White”

  1. I enjoy the good nature of this poem immensely. Even more appreciable: its sense for the deep connection that can live between people.

    And there are interesting lullaby overtones in the poem’s rocking-chair rhythm.


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