Old man you linger weak
at the end of a long life,
and I watch you fading
with the tum of each day,
and a plea waits empty in your
sullen eyes with words unsaid, for
you wish for life like me but
you know about the end.
I hear your recall of younger days,
right back to times when the
spirit existed in your youthful bones
and you trod bold into the wide world,
loving life from old world to new,
working, dancing, eating, drinking, and loving
sometimes in your strange and violent way.
But now the careful walk is slow
and you have withdrawn to a smaller
world alone with everyone you knew
mostly gone, and your independence
that was your ringing chord of life
has give way to grudging dependence,
for you are frail and pride is swallowed
up in concessions in these latter days.
Old man, what is like to be where you are?
I will join you one of these not so farflung
days, when I too, like you, will stand unstable
and grasp the cane and struggle to move,
and mumble and dream of better times,
and speak of shadows hanging over me.