Here is a poem I wrote, prompted by estimates of rising life expectancy across most of the world, so that on average we might live into our nineties, if not beyond.
At fifty-one I sleep in loss,
Broken at last on fortune’s wheel.
To ninety-one I wander with a pauper’s plan;
No early grave to relieve my failing heart,
My cerebellum longing for more serotonin,
My fingers still restlessly searching
Through these ghostly keys.
Do I expect in forty years
To see the world turn and break again
The purity seal
My eleven year old child
Wrapped around my fate?
Will great words return again
Salvaged from our wretched wreck
By toiling troubadors?
Will walls fall? Will heroes sing?
Will we see Mao’s kind again?
Will money lose its hard-won shine?
Or will these years slide on by
As I recede into comfort?
Will oblivion be my friend at last?
Will silence guard my end?
All I know is one more day.