Milton Crum


A stack of calendars marking the years of our lives;
the stack is downsized until none remain.
We cannot look at them before their time;
we cannot know how many are left,
but we know there are fewer than before.
When the stack was high,
it seemed there would always be more calendars to live.
Our lives were filled up with activities and possessions,
with people and desires and future plans.
As the stack becomes downsized,
living space is downsized; we are downsized:
• downsized literally, made shorter
by gravity as we grow older,
• downsized energy for activities we once enjoyed,
so we downsize our activities to fit our energy;
• downsized craving and downsized room
for possessions once deemed essential,
so we downsize our possessions:
find people who want them, saving our heirs the task;
• downsized need for as many casual friends,
so we downsize to the close ones;
• downsized desire for anything, less get-up-and-go,
so we downsize our wants and what we do;
• downsized future and, knowing it will be more
what happens to us than what we plan and do,
we do less planning, and as a centenarian admonished,
we learn to “take it as it comes.”
But we are thankful for the good years we have had,
and try to find joy in the life we still have.

Submitted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Edited: Friday, October 11, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written from the experience of living into my late 80s.

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