The day hangs on like loose skin,
sloppy in small talk and booze.
No one cares how the sink fills
with the day’s remains, how the last
autumn sun beats down on the mud,
how the grinding hours wear away.
Everyone knows why they are here:
A final chance to see a life hold on
until an old body becomes content
without words, without anything
more, puts itself in a chair that
swallows, and waits for its turn.
Only those with age know the joy
of accepting the end is near.
Author’s Commentary: Taking step after step into my senior years, I find myself writing my way to death's door, not that I'm eager to enter, but as a means of circling the inevitable. Writing, for me, has always been a nudge toward knowing, or as Robert Frost would have it, "a momentary stay against confusion."
Ronald Pelias’s work has appeared in a number of journals, including Midwest Poetry Review, Coal City Review, Poetry East, and Negative Capability. His most recent books, Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (Left Coast Press/Routledge), Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing (Left Coast Press/Routledge), and If the Truth Be Told (Sense Publications) call upon the poetic as a research strategy.