March 7, 2008

Pack It In the Sweet Case

“She’s ninety-two; I think she’s ready to pack it in,” he said.
I murmured, “Ohhh, ohhh, mmmm, I’m sorry.”
  Of course,
I thought of me.

I sure am not ready to pack it in.
(Of course, I’m not ninety-two, either.)
There is still too much to pack—
I could fold for the next ten years;
I could sort for twenty;
I could discard for forty after that.
Or, if I discarded all at once,
There would be nothing left to pack, so
I would have to start over.

So I am not ready to pack it in.
Into what?
  A coffin?
  A grave?
  A crematory?
  An urn?
  A jar?
  The skull of others? living on in flashing
    synapses to fade finally into

I cannot count on tales
Told by descendents (or cabbages and kings)
  around holiday tables.
I have no offspring.

I cannot count on the lasting fondness of
Young friends, because they will soon
Start their own chain of descendents,
Hung from their genitals like jewelry unpawned.

I cannot count on librarians to recommend my books   so that
Readers can absorb me, suck me up from a blurb.

So, no, I am not ready to pack it in.