The Inheritance - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
' Yes, Mother, I do KNOW that age obliges.
It starts, you say, at eighty, so beware.
It does enhance your own idea of 'righteous',
as it allows you to transform myopic stare
into benevolent and kindly, smiling glances.
You have arrived, at last on top of Judgment Peak.
And from the summit you can watch the silly dances
of all the immature and young ones who still seek
to find a place within their world of constant shuffling,
and reap respect from all around and in all weathers.
Yes, you have managed to escape this without ruffling
your own, now graying and well-pampered wavy feathers.
But, what about, I say to you, my aging Mother,
the ones you said were your beloved ones, that is us?
We're getting on in years so quickly that no other
descriptive term would fit than 'makers of a fuss'.
And right you are in your annoying observation:
We are a lot of quite impatient offshoots, yes.
But as you know, the current climate of inflation,
so unpredictable and maker of a mess,
it calls for planning which must lead to satisfaction,
you simply cannot sit on piles of olive green.
So, may I call on you to implement some action?
You love your grandkids, so please know that they are keen.
So, let's be serious for a moment and consider
what would befall and overwhelm your grateful kids,
if something happened and the Taxman's greedy bidder
would take the chunk that could have paid for my own 'Ritz'?
That's what I call my future house or rather mansion,
which I deserve to have and live in while still young.
So, on this Tuesday I am calling your attention
to your dilemma, Judge, your jury, it is hung!
Don't get me wrong, dear Mother, it is NOT my silly greed
that lets my tongue form awkward words and frank expressions,
oh, no, it is the clear exposure of a need,
so let me help you deal with threatening aggression
from all the others, 'cause my love is so much bigger.
I've always harboured my respect for you inside.
If you want loyalty and fairness then I figure
you hit the jackpot since you have me on your side.
I brought a pen, it is a CROSS, of purest gold,
which is my gift to you, just keep it when you sign.
It's fourteen pages of pure bull, so I've been told,
I've read it for you, it's okay, so would you sign...
What do you MEAN you have to sleep on this dear Mum,
I know our father always praised this as so clever,
but look what happened when he slept, he now is numb,
and don't you love me, trust me, know that I would never
just drag you down the garden path where your dear treasures
are stored away, the aging fruits of a long life.
No, not at all, I only want you to take measures
that keep the family intact and out of strife.
And now I see that this will take some quick explaining,
I am so cognizant of what the others think,
their interests lie within the framework of them gaining,
and, well before your own arrival at the brink,
they want it NOW and keep on asking when you will
just come to grips with real life and just shell out!
As you can see that I have climbed up on your hill
to tell you all you need to know, and all about
the tricky ways that kin and others would engage in,
to empty coffers that are well and truly yours.
Within my heart, may I assure you, there is raging
a storm of shame for them, but I remain on course.
So WOULD YOU SIGN THE GODDAM PAPERS, here and now?
I will not lose my patience, but it is enough.
Just leave the details on the WHY, the WHO and HOW
to me, who has to be the one they do call tough.
Now THAT is better, oh, the blasted pen,
I'll dropp it later, don't you worry, not at all.
Must go now, rest assured you really did quite well,
and by the way, the chandelier here in the hall,
I'm taking it tomorrow, yes, and let me tell
you of this modern world and its well-hidden traps.
I shall protect you from it all as from today,
which means a proper budget, simple and no gaps.
And all your bills and orders will need my okay,
I have already cancelled your beloved paper
and turned the thermostat down well below your liking.
Thus, in the eve of life when you begin to taper,
things need adjusting and my logic will be striking.
Well, that was it for now, just one more little item,
replace the violets, Dad's grave will get fake flowers,
he will not miss his favourite ones, he cannot sight them.
And you won't need to spend so many precious hours
to weed and care for fertile soil, I have replaced it
with grade two concrete, and the vases have been sold.
It's really, truly high time that you finally faced it:
You must trust a son like me, now that you're old.'
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