Seventh Sense

First, I think it’s age,
this sense of being invisible
on sidewalks, in parks, the beach,
at the Whole Foods check-out line
then I think it’s a seventh sense.
Maybe it’s how I dress.
After retirement, usually casual—
homemade shirt (my wife has a knack
for sewing projects), old jeans—
washed out, Keen’s mid-calf shoes,
socks, mostly colorful, 
to fit my mood;
in lines, I feel I diminish 
to a blur rather
than a human being.
Daily, as I walk local streets,
I invariably nod, offer a greeting 
to passers-by
often unacknowledged, then I sink
into an abyss of regret
for aging, for not having the flair 
I imagine I once had, but then
someone younger will say hello
or smile, or someone my age 
will offer a kind retort
to a friendly comment, 
and the sun
seems brighter,
clouds less heavy,
wind stable, not rising.


Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor; poems recently published or forthcoming in Windsor Review, Gargoyle, Concho River Review, among others. today can take your breath away, his fourth collection, was published in 2018 by Sheila-na-gig Editions. He lives with his wife Dd in Portland Maine.