Lynn W. Petty
A Question Of My Own Mortality - Poem by Lynn W. Petty
Time seemed interminable.
A curious and inexplicable apprehension came over me,
As I sat in an elderly care home waiting to visit a friend.
The atmosphere was heavy with quiet confusion.
People wandered about searching and shifting in a
Sort of stolid acquiescence. Their lives recalled as flashes in memory, projecting film images on their thick, gray screen of dementia.
Across from me sat an elderly gentleman whose gaze was a glassy
Expression of inattention. I could see the declinations of his skull
Beneath his facial features. A victim of the grievous calamities
Of time, vaguely aware of his own frailty.
A harassing anxiety overcame me. Is it death or is it the lingering
Before my death I find discomposing?
No, it is not the naked fact of death I fear, it is the prison
Of my own being; that time from competence to incontinence;
Between enclosure to final closure.
Why was I so disrupted? Perhaps, it was a solemn foreshadowing,
Dimly seen on the distant reaches of my destiny,
In that, I had witnessed my own fragile mortality.
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