Monday, May 28, 2012

Cassandra Song

On my twenty-first birthday,
My father told me,
"The day your epiphyses seal,
You begin to age and die."

Youth cannot believe a
Prophet of death.
I laughed and chalked it up to
His usual doomsday outlook.

But we spend out lives
Clambering against
A slow-motion
Avalanche of death.

Disability, illness and memory loss:
The three horsemen of
Our personal Apocalypses.

And yet, there is a fire
That burns inside.
It will not let us lie down.

With each mounting indignity --
From nagging aches that
lodge like an unwanted weekend guest

Who simply never leaves,
To major injuries and
Diagnoses that pound us down

Like punchdrunk boxers overmatched --
Yet still we rise,
Stagger up each time.

It is not death we fear,
I think, but surrender,
Of our selves.

Betsy McKenzie


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