My days are slowly drifting into rest —
a kind of ease and yet a kind of test.
Though slowing age has made me leisurely,
I miss being quick and busy; I miss my zest.
And still I say I’m lucky. Not for me
(not yet at any rate) the agony
of cruel illness, not for me the blight
of dimming mind in dread senility.
I think again of her mind, young and bright.
She’s ready now, she says, to enter night.
Her mind is housed in an invaded brain,
the tumour slowly crowding out her light.
She’s tired of fighting, certain it’s in vain.
Shut away from sunlight, trees and rain,
she turns eighteen but must not celebrate.
Her mind and body learn increasing pain.
I don’t believe she has one certain fate —
but she believes, raging and desolate.
‘Live fast, die young ...’ Some fools might count her blest;
but she’s been neither fool nor profligate.
I’m old: I’ve lived a life, fulfilled a quest.
I watch my sun start dipping to the west
with no great eagerness; but I admit,
aching for my young friend, I come off best.
Submitted to ‘imaginary garden with real toad’, Rubaiyat prompt nd also to dVerse Open Link Night #20
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