Poetry: They die, dang-it

 

Dad was 74, and then some more.
Mom barely passed 77, but she did.
And then they died, as happens to humans,
even parents go away one sad day.

It’s natural. Bad enough — life and death.

They were just short of some expected norm,
Dad a hard-core Camel smoker with a long past
as an underground hard-coal miner, and a heavy
weekend drinker till he quit. Cuz, “too old.”

Now names of leaves and ancestor memories.

Mom got late to fixes for breast cancer,
yet survived about ten mo’ years and may have
won even more, but in life —  it’s always
somethin’ what makes one go away.

Each day of life is precious with mothers.

“Smoking is my one and only pleasure”
said my sister, ‘Show,’ to me, trying to quit
but failing. And, before yielding to lung cancer,
“You know, Billy, I never quit. Now I can’t.”

I hate being right. Precious is life with others.

Other sister was bro Danny’s sis, half to me,
was still poking in her time card at 80-some.
I loved her dearly but struggled when asked,
“What’s it like, to be treated like 3 year old?”

Over fifty years of love for her baby, half-brother.

Now, I just act my age. If I’m lucky, I’ll be 74,
after I blow out 73 candles in the next year,
more, with good kismet down the road, but got them
genes. I love my life today, an’ when I’m dead,

I’ll love that too, all things now bein’ said.

©Bill Reynolds 12/10/2018

“Existence itself does not feel horrible;
it feels like an ecstasy, rather,
which we have only to be still to experience.”
~ John Updike

***

Look both ways along the life-line and cherish every second,
with every person.
‘When yer dead, you’re dead.” (Mom said)
Mind each gap, cuz they count, too.

8 thoughts on “Poetry: They die, dang-it

  1. Even the good genes only buy an extra fifteen to twenty five years if your lucky—or unlucky. Mom died in an accident 8 years ago. Dad is 85 and still vacations around the country with his new wife. Cradle robber got himself a young 70 years old sweetie. Our family hits 100 pretty often. If that’s the case I’m barely over half done. Sounds crazy, but it’s been a long ride already.

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  2. Great Updike quote to finish.
    How did reading this make me feel cheerful? That’s a talent. Life is to be enjoyed for sure.
    My dad all the time says he never thought he’d live this long, and he’s been saying it since 70, now 79. It’s kind of eerie. I say the same thing every time, “Your parents lived longer.” We’re supposed to live longer each generation, and if we can live better, too, well, I’m in.

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  3. Love the John Updike quote.

    My mom only got to 65 but dad made it to 90. I’ll be silently ticking down every day of my 65th year. Superstitious as I am.

    My dear father in law is the only male in his family to live past 70. Now at almost 75, he broke the curse.

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    1. Glad you liked it. Reading his ‘Collected Poems 1953-1993.’ I often ask older folks than I, “How long is long enough?” I had an aunt who hit late 80s, but last 7 was with Alzheimer’s — I will pass on that. One day at a time. 🙂

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