Venkateswaran Krishnan Sreenivasan

(JULY 14,1935 / ERNAKULAM, KERALA, INDIA)

OLD AGE: A REPLAY OF CHILDHOOD


Old age, a virtual replay of childhood
Enacted in body, mind and mood;
An escape from tumultuous adulthood
Into an ignorant and innocent brood

The integument hangs like a garment loose
With spots and specks few would choose
No more the enticing ornament of youth
But a repellant apparel uncouth

The body shrinks like an autumn leaf
With veins coursing through a dried up sheaf
With a feathery touch, the thigh bone breaks
While walking or talking, the body shakes

The eyes look like crystals dimmed by dew
Everything in nature is dark in view
The ears are immune to the rumble in the sky
And to birds that sing in choir and fly

Downy scalp hair, all gray and sparse
Combing it becomes just a farce
Glossy pates save time on wash
And reflect sunshine in a flash

Unsteady gait balanced on stick
Oscillating like the flame of a wick
Propped up on stilt wherever they go
Like trees in the breeze, they toss to and fro

Food is gulped down as the gums are bare
A lucky few possess a fitted ware
Eating and voiding side by side
It is a bumpy ride against the tide

Is old age a replay of childhood?
A withered flower, not a blooming bud
A charade of characters on a crumbled page
A display of human frailties wrought by age

Submitted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
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