THIS POEM REPLACES ALL PREVIOUS POEMS
So we're born and the rotting process
can't wait to begin.
Could be leukemia at three,
car crash at eleven,
overdose at twenty-one,
AIDS at thirty,
suicide at forty,
heart attack at fifty...
the doctors tell you none of this.
Even if we stay clear of the big stuff,
there's little acts of random decay
happening all the time to our bodies.
What can heart and mind do?
Complaining gets them nowhere.
Yes the deciduous forest mimics the process
but it gets rebirth for all its troubles.
Once human spring is behind us,
there's no more spring.
I'm a gangrened branch of a family tree.
Arthritis is my joints' step-children.
Dementia carries on my mind's forgotten name.
Sure there's love
but have you checked its EKG lately.
I'm at another funeral.
"Dead before his time," they mutter.
But isn't death the only time?
"In life there is death," intones the priest.
Yes, and that's all there is.
Okay, so I'm a pessimist.
But I was born an optimist.
More proof as if it was needed.
(John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.)
The Beautiful Space-