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To age is but to respect gravity,

movement that is denial given up

in the fashion of prayer: on one’s knees

and thankful perhaps to finally pause.

Even the cockroach, large and hard-backed, slows

as if to attract the descending heel,

letting perpetual generation

care for itself in the shadowy corner.

The arthritic cypress has no age,

never having been young, its gnarled grip

sufficient, and its fall unwitnessed,

the swamp collecting all of its debts.

”Robert Parham

The Dying Man’s Will

Trim my nails before I die.

My Maker would approve

of crossing t’s and dotting i’s.

The details much I love.

My bank account make ready,

each decimal in its place.

I want my money exactly recorded

before I meet Him face to face.

My garden”especially the dill and cumin”

ensure it’s green and tall.

I want to point to my little Eden

when asked about the Fall.

Provide the priest with written sermon

detailing all the works I’ve done.

I want my memory etched in memory

when all my praise is sung.

”Bruce W. Speck