Write Into Life

Just when do you want to die?

Exactly when would you prefer to die? Soon, before you are too old? Most of us don’t have a choice. I wrote this poem for Sally Bond, who died at 95 in a rest home on Christmas Day, 2014. But perhaps it will fit someone else you know, including you and me, one day. I like to think that the poem is so pragmatic that it helps me to live my life, that with this poem I’m writing into life.

When?

Most of us are afraid
of a slow fade,
a late grave.

Most of us equate old age
with panic and despair
and things we could not bear.

We say, Not us! No way!
We want to be hit by a bus.
… But when?

Most of us blaze through middle age.
Much later, we mellow.
Less yellow. More grey.

And later still, we fade.
Then death is subtle
and dying is wise.

I asked my sister, When
will I be ready to die?
She answered, When you die.


poem & photo by Rachel McAlpine cc-by-4.0

This poem is in Senior Poems, a Kindle ebook to echo and soothe your thoughts and hopes and fears and joys as you face the bonus years.