A Card-Carrying Old Person

Medicare card in hand,
my body slowly aging.
I watch brown spots appear,
goatee now white,
energies inside downshift,
bones a bit creaky, tendons stiff,
hands worn by time.

My mind, too, is sliding down
a long downhill slope,
synapses simulating a lighter
now low on fuel, clicking.

Yet something inside is not merely
resigned to all this, it loves it—
because it loves everything.

It loves slowing down,
feeling maturity settle in,
having the years needed
for a long-range view.

It loves the sense of dignity
gained from lessons learned—
knowing what’s important,
and what can be let go of.

It loves each stage of being alive,
regardless of diminishments.

A quiet joy comes,
realizing that it will be here
to my last breath—this Self of mine—
inside me (and you, too)
watching all the changes,
thrilled with the gift of life, in any form—
an inner compass, teaching me slowly
where true North is.

And in the end,
no matter what transpires,
we’ll go down together,
my Self and I,
and go down swinging,
          singing,
It was good to the very last drop.

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