Acting my age

From decades of borrowed wakefulness
and broken sleep,
this body gives way.
The hated alarm faces the wall.
Last night’s dreams of peace
unfolded over fourteen unmedicated hours.
This afternoon, with morning coffee,
I take the two steps down to the garden,
descending into green rest.
I understand fewer things now.
I repeat small stories, so I am told.
It makes me timid to tell what I think is a new one.
When I start, I see people’s eyes dart to one another,
and so I know now what is meant, perhaps, by second childhood.
To be seen and not heard.
Without much of importance to say, I quiet down.
Give short answers. Sleepy, Dopey, and Grumpy are me.
And, you know, I try to do things the way I always did them,
then surprise myself when I can’t.
Or hurt myself out of stubbornness.
This is the way of it.
I cannot bear longish reads anymore,
though I thirst for the great writers.
I am almost bereft of Random Accessible Memory.
Perhaps I will pay for an audiobook.
War and Peace might be a bargain.
Although, my sweet,
I would dearly love to have you by my bedside
to read me into the night,
as I did for you, so long ago.
Ah well, I console myself with the belief
that I was not altogether wicked,
because we know there is no rest for them.

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