A Good Day to Die
When I was young I always feared getting
old and hoped I’d never live long enough
to dimly see my muscles wither and weaken,
my eyesight and hearing diminish, and the
curls go out of my hair if it hadn’t all been
banished from my head by then.
To eat without any teeth and drink prune juice
wasn’t meant for me. I’d die long before so
much time passed that I’d become an invalid.
To walk with a cane, a walker, crutches, or a
wheelchair were all unacceptable to me. Let me
die I’d pray before I ever needed help like that.
Old people all had a certain smell that death
knew so well, and certified their age, I believed,
until I learned they didn’t bathe,
because by sitting all day they lost what it takes
to get in and out of a tub and they lost the ability
to notice they were drenched in a strong stench,
because a nursing home, where so many end up,
reeks of aromas worse than those unwashed seniors
who roam the halls looking for their children,
who promised to never put them in a home, and when they
broke that promise, said they’d come to visit every day, but
have better things to do than to see what’s in store for them.
It’s a shame, but that’s why I’m never getting OLD. I’m
going to live until I die and do every risky thing I
avoided when young because I had a lot to lose.
In my 70s now, I choose to take chances because death can’t cheat
me out of very many years, and if I die jumping from a plane,
crashing a car, or a heart attack from running too fast,
it’ll be a good day to die.