Life expectancy

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.

Life expectancy

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.

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