…is a shot I took at just the right moment, straddling the trunk of a downed tree near the Lincoln Park Conservatory.
It is accompanied by this poem I wrote to deal with my dear Mother’s heroic fight against ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The Fiddler’s playing out of tune this year
As the woman sits nearly immobile
Awaiting Death and its unpleasant sting.
Living in the hive of Life
Is not without its problems, Dearie
Even the workers don’t survive.
When you’re a kid
Mom and Dad are
So much larger than Life.
Why do they seem to shrink?
The more you mature
The smaller they get.
Return to the cradle
Slumber in the soil.
Was that Life worth living?
Worth anything now?
Back to the wall, and it crumbles away.
No escape, only another wall.
And the waiting
Like a Girl Scout, always prepared.
Life must pass your eyes
A hundred times a day
As you ask yourself
What did I do wrong?
And all you got was gristle and flux
The Prime went to someone else.
The leavings, the dregs
Are yours for the picking
At the catered Banquet of Life:
Rotting linen table cloths
Confusion in the ranks
The busboy is the Guest of Honor
The King is now the Queen.
Life sidles slowly up to Death, teasing
But it’s not time yet.
Death orgy, by invitation only
This must be the wrong party:
Just when it’s time to feel like Cinderella
The slipper won’t fit
Because the brace gets in the way
While the magnet of Death
Draws you down.
Peaceful slumber would be better
But you fear the fires of Hell
Kindled in your mind
By white-collar celibates.
Copyright 1981 http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com