Paper Cup

Do not be distressed
when your opinions no longer matter
and your cherished words
fail to harvest attention like before.

Do not let unhappiness find you,
if the cameras no longer care enough,
they refuse to search for your face,
flatter your ego
or beat a path to your door.

Do not feel abandoned
when that forever inconvenient phone you avoided
– stops ringing –
and the copious friendships you cultivated and prized,
steadily evaporate.

Be careful not to court disappointment
when the cautious adulation stops,
the beloved accolades dissolve
and you quietly become yesterday’s news
– even as you lie awake
struggling to recover misplaced opportunities.

Try not to cuddle sadness
even if your name ceases
to roll off the lips of former devotees –
and the lofty titles you sported proudly,
like fierce battle scars,
can no longer shield you
from the isolation of mistrust.

Dare not take offence
when they decline to open doors for you,
and to obey your commands;
but instead, forget your birthdays
and rarely,
someone mistakes you for somebody important.

Try as you must,
not to feel bitter.
Simply, cast a smile at the mislaid years
and remember…
it was always temporary
you were always
just a paper cup

12 thoughts on “Paper Cup”

  1. This is a wonderful piece. Wow. Your best yet Again Kevin!! Kudos on a masterpiece!

    This is so relevant to share with retiring staff. Thank you.

    1. Hmmmm. Just a paper cup. We must not be honk of ourselves more highly than we ought.
      Thanks again Kevin for the reminder.

  2. Love this piece! I’m not bitter because I have realized that I’m just a paper up to some.
    Another mind-boggling piece…makes you stop and reflect.❤️

    1. Excellent advice for retirees but better for persons on their way in. Helping to keep them grounded.

  3. A stark reminder of our journey in life, our careers. I thought I read your best – but this one stands out! Another masterpiece.

  4. Kevin, this is a wonderful poem. I absolutely love it. It made me teary actually because it’s so real and relevant. And I am sure it will touch many hearts as it speaks to all of us in, just differently for everyone. Thank you for sharing

  5. Sebastian Moonjely

    …. such a true and well captured harsh reality of life… Many thanks Your Excellency, for this stark reminder…

  6. Wow!
    Genius strikes to the core, making bare and plain the numbing effect of time on all of our transient vanities that keep us from the reality that, it is all fleeting, and like a pension income, points you only to the needful …

  7. I love this poem. It captures the essence of aging and in particular retirement. So many people are simple “put out to pasture”, even the formerly great. The poem shows us that this experience is not unique to us but shared by many in similar circumstances.

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