The essence of baby boomer memories and events in poetry

We baby boomers all have memories of key events in our lives, sometimes even mementos— of everything from crises like wars and assassinations to the good ol’ days of the Beatles, of muscle cars, of the first landing on the moon. Well, BoomerCafé’s award-winning Poet-In-Resident Harriet Shenkman of Westchester, New York, whose newest published work is “Teetering,” (you can get it by clicking on this link, and then on “Bookstore”) has written of her own memories and mementos in this poem entitled “The Sapphire, The Muff and Monopoly.”

The Sapphire, the Muff, and Monopoly

Harriet Shenkman

Harriet Shenkman

I was thrilled with a rabbit muff
for my sixth birthday.

I stroked the silky white fur,
plunged my hands into its warmth,
felt like Jackie O in muff
matched to fur trimmed boots.

I passed Go on the Monopoly board
for my next birthday,

collected two hundred dollars,
acquired tiny houses and hotels,
a gloating Donald Trump.

Shenkman_Harriet_CoverAnd I flaunted a sapphire ring
for one more September birthday,

Kate in the halls of Windsor,
Nefertiti tempting Charlton Heston.

The sapphire was pure glass,
the fur muff a fake, the pastel money
useless for the rent.

Still, I keep the fur in a cedar closet,
the paper money in a bank vault,
the glass jewel in a velvet-lined box

to remind me of when I was
the center of someone’s universe.


  1. I wrote the following poem in honor of baby boomers. All rights reserved.

    Ode to Baby Boomers

    Boomers starting to mature
    Stock pile anti-age brochures
    Before we go back to the dust
    Write bucket list and living trust

    Once was active, young and trim
    Now eyesight is growing dim
    No more are we lads and lasses
    Forced to wear bifocal glasses

    Those spicy foods we loved to eat
    Now we’re loving cream of wheat
    Blood pressure is too high or low
    Daily check for new skin moles

    Can’t walk a block or much less run
    Climbing stairs, our goose is done
    Enjoyed the little walks to town
    Now we own a Hoveround®

    Youthful skin is heading south
    Can barely hear unless you shout
    Gaining weight, no longer thin
    Now we’ve grown an extra chin

    Teeth aren’t real, nor is the hair
    We use Depends® for underwear
    Pain in joints won’t be ignored
    Aleve and Motrin will restore

    We should be planning to retire
    Want to work, but can’t get hired
    Employers say we have the skills
    Won’t admit we’re over the hill

    As boomers we have set the pace
    Just lack the wind to run the race
    We may be leaving center stage
    But looking good in our old age

  2. The following is an original poem I wrote. All rights reserved.

    You Know It’ Time!

    Career goals no longer fulfilled
    Unable to learn those new skills
    Stress makes you mentally ill
    Finally paid tuition bills
    You know it’s time to retire!

    No longer put on the game face
    Raises you no longer chase
    Can’t keep up with the pace
    You’re the oldest in the place!
    You know it’s time to retire!

    Everybody left that you knew
    Always out with a stomach flu
    Taking off is all you do
    Job sucked the life out of you!
    You know it’s time to retire!

    You don’t enjoy work anymore
    Getting up before dawn is a chore
    Feeling the urge to explore
    What are you still working for?
    You know it’s time to retire!

  3. Memories of childhood always feel like a warm cuddly blanket. Thank you for stirring up some of my own. And you are still the center of someone’s universe, I’m sure your husband would say.

  4. Harriet, your poem left me with tears in my eyes and a big smile. Those times and things were so special and yes saved in a box somewhere. I can’t wait to read your book of poems
    Thank you

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