Last Words

The old man,

he is dying

he is smiling

he knows he is dying

and he thinks

“I made it”.

The money didn’t run out

I didn’t go mad

kept it under control

kept going.

Food on the table

shoes on feet

wolf from the door.

Cut it close sometimes

but in the end

he made it.

He is smiling.

Everybody dies.

Not everybody makes it.

He is happy.

At last, he can let go.

All his very many one days at a time,

and now there are no more.

***

Corey the pondering clown had a competition for a poem with this title. ¬†I wasn’t interested in the competition [there wasn’t a million dollar prize ūüôā ], but this idea and this image came to me in the early hours of the morning. ¬†(It is very quiet here, so sometimes it is harder to sleep. ¬†When you hear a noise, it is harder to convince yourself that it is not them coming to get you. ¬†One day, it will be.) ¬†The cliches are deliberate. ¬†He might be happy, but in many ways it is very sad, that his happiness comes from scraping through, from making it. ¬†For those of us who struggle though, you get through one day at a time, each little triumph, and then one day, there are no more days to get through. ¬†Perhaps that is the final victory. ¬†Then what comes after? ¬†Don’t judge him too harshly if there are no references to loved ones here – whose feet did he keep shod, who did he protect from the wolf? ¬†His love is expressed practically, and that is the greatest poem, and it is not one that I can write.

A bit of a contrast with “Young Love, with scar” below, which I like more, but if I only every wrote down the one I liked the best, there would only be one (actually, there would be none, because that is the fatal flaw of perfectionism).