Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

When We are Seventy and You are Forty

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 6:24 am on Friday, April 16, 2021

by Robert M. Katzman © August 6, 1993 


To Rachel Jennifer, at Thirteen

When we are seventy and you are forty:

It won’t matter if you

Ever repaired that explosion

You called your room

It won’t matter that

All of our bath towels

Were forever in your room

And on the floor

Soaking wet

In Hamster-land


It won’t matter that

Your determined 


In the living room

Sounded like 

Incoming rockets

When we were 

Seeking shelter

In the basement


When we are seventy and you are forty:

It won’t matter that

your high-spirited

mob of friends 

Kept us up

Until three in the morning

Whenever they slept over


It won’t matter whether you were

An honor student or a misfit

It won’t matter that

Little bits of

Evidence of Rachel

Would be found in

Every single room 

You’d ever been in


When we are seventy and you are forty:

All that will count to us is:

When the good things

Happen in your life,

you will want us to know


When you experience

Pain of any kind,

You will always know

Our hearts and arms are open to you


When we call you 

If only to talk

You will always be 


to listen to us

When we have heartache

We can always find

Solace with you


When we are seventy and you are forty:

And your brother is forty-two

Your sister is forty-five

May we all feel

As much love for 

Each other then,

As we all feel 

For each other today


When Rachel was born in 1980, Joy and I were 30. When this poem was written, Rachel was 13, we were 43.

Today, posted at a moment in Time when I actually am Seventy, Joy would have been and Rachel is Forty.

In July 1993, my (then) youngest child and daughter, Rachel, then nearly thirteen, had her Bat Mitzvah.

At her party, her mother Joyce and I read this serious poem I’d written for the happy occasion.

Her grandparents, Israel and Anne, my parents, were both there that day

As they were at my Bar Mitzvah thirty years earlier, in 1963.

Her older Sister, Lisa Heather (then eighteen) and

Brother David (then fifteen) were there as well.

I tried to read my words, and failed, as usual.

But Joyce finished all of it, as she always has. 


Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: http://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998  (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $29.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

(7) $11.95; (8) $12.95; (9)$13.95 (10)$15.95 (15)$19.95

I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.


Comment by Susan Vazquez

April 16, 2021 @ 7:03 am

Very Nice Bob! #perspective

Comment by William Parkhurst

April 16, 2021 @ 7:20 am

Sweet, Bob. Thanks.

Comment by Brad dechter

April 16, 2021 @ 8:09 am

Being 68 with 3 sons in their 40’s I feel you and what you write Bob. You pulled my heartstrings and nostalgia brain on this one!

Comment by Kumari

April 16, 2021 @ 6:16 pm

Oh this is lovely! What lucky kids you had! I wish I had a dad :). I don’t have that but I have a wonderful son and when I am 70 he will be 48, and truly truly all we will care about is when good things happen in life for us to share. Peace to all of you. Thank you

Comment by Marilyn Zimmerman

April 16, 2021 @ 10:58 pm

Our daughter, Mara Patrice was born in 1980. I was 30. Today, our one singular sensation is 40. I am 70. Mr. Wonderful is 72. Like you, wet bath towels scattered on the floor. Didn’t matter. We closed the door. Yup. Sleepovers in celebration of our kitties birthdays till all hours of the night. Junior high, high school and college in the East. Well educaticated and well seasoned. Sweet and soft spoken as Lavender. Marapie selected to save my life. She is my super savior. We now share her liver. Looking back never expected. One day here, next day gone. Baby hair of red fuzz. Little did I know then what is known now. Strong in spirt and a heart for giving. Several mares on the car…. who cares! Blessed beyond words to have her near us in Chi Town. A bond to not be broken. A bond to not be broken. 40 and 70. Best friends forever.

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