Declining

We want to live to be one hundred
Because we do not think that the last 20 years
Will be so lonely and so painful
That they will mar the joys of our youth
And when we watch our children go into their
Own declining years
And hear of our grandchildren giving birth
To descendants we will never know
We realize it is a mercy to forget them
Name by name
As they forget us
Year by year
“Do you know who this is Grandpa?”
Said one middle aged fellow pointing to another
They were both familiar
“Yes,” I replied but it was a lie
“This is Tim, Elizabeth’s son.
He got married last week.
He’s got two step kids now.”
“I know!” I said but that was a lie too
The two men stayed a while then left
And after some strangely brief amount of time
It all happened again
And like a magnetic tape stripped
Of its particles by the very machine that plays it
I forgot them
Name by name
Year by year
We want to live
“Do you know who I am?”
Name
“Sure I do”
Declining machine
“I ‘m Susan”
Familiar particles
“I know”
Name
Year
Stripped
“Dad?”
Me?
Forget
Name
“I’m Susan, Dad.”
Name
Year
“I…”
“Dad?”
Name
Year
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One thought on “Declining

  1. cognifeeder says:

    That’s heavy. I like the poetic voice, the internal dialog. I just read a post a few minutes ago that said “we all die anlone, but not everyone dies lonely.” This seems to be in a similar vein.

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