As he grew ever older he said
he wanted a sudden unanticipated death,
“In my sleep preferably” he added
with an unmeant chuckle.
It would be a good way to go,
I imagine, but it denies those
who will most mourn his passing
the chance to hope for a miracle.
And no matter when it happens,
if it is sudden it will always be too soon,
only the protracted death is timely
for those needing to say goodbye.
Another day, another needle,
it is the cost of growing older,
I suppose, and does beat
the alternatives, but still,
I am growing tired of feeling
like an underappreciated pin cushion.
And please, it is not necessary
for you to smile while pushing
the needle into whatever
body part wins the prize
as that day’s recipient, leave
me to decide whether to smile.
And I’m not a child, so feel
free to dispense with the
“this is for your own good,”
if I didn’t know that do you
think I’d be sitting in this chair
having the imagined conversation?
It is not that I am getting
forgetful as I grow older, it is
merely that I am replacing
old information with new,
my mind is large but
its capacity is still finite.
So if I forget your name
when I see you, it is not
because you do not matter,
although that could be the case,
it is simply that I now
remember the names of others
and yours exceeded capacity.
It is not that I do not care
about you, assume that I do
whether true or not, help
me by introducing yourself
again, a gentle reminder
of where and how we met,
unless, of course, you
have forgotten me as well,
in which case I am pleased
to have the chance to meet you.
She would have been, what …
does it matter anymore,
frozen in time at that last age
before time ceased to matter
and images became locked
and only the viewer grew older
but glad at least for that.
The only thing worse
than getting older is not
she once said, then as was
her fashion, proved herself right.
I wrote a eulogy and
countless elegies and in the end
I’m not getting younger
which is something to be treasured.
She said, “As we get older
we start to come from the place
we only wished we were from,
and the place from which we came,
becomes the place from which
we are now glad we never visited.”
He said, “As I age, my youth changes,
and the things I say I did are increasingly,
the things I wish I had done,
and what I did and wish I hadn’t
are things that now never happened.”
She smiled, “it’s hard to believe
that now we never met in that one place
neither of us says we have been,
and yet here we are
in the midst of our created history.”