He is wise, wise and wizened;
hair thinning, salt and pepper seasoned;
brow lined and furrowed, quizzical?
Brows: bushy, grey and wiry;
eyes blue and vision fading;
nose: large and Roman
(now too long and thin (he thinks) -
My, I can almost see where bone blanches skin).
Cheeks: skin thick and craggy;
mouth small, pursed and wrinkled;
chin cleft, stubble sprinkled.
Ah, and below the chin –
the bugger that will be the death of him.
Untreated – he too old (he thinks)
for wrath of radiation beam
or cruel brunt of surgeons knife.
So this is he, this is who he is
above the faltering heart in heaving chest –
his face an echo - a diary of a life well-lived.
His mouth clenching pipe, pipe-puffing,
puffing pipe (vanilla flavour and aroma)
he reminisces on the joys of yesteryears.
He is alone – yet not lonely,
his memories’ - companions of his past and present.
(He sips Jack Daniels – no, swigs it back,
his body welcoming each soothing warming mouthful.)
He thinks: if death comes tonight I hope it comes easy –
no crushing pain of heart arrest…
But should he be blessed to live another day,
to see tomorrow – he will live it for the love of it.
But should he not he knows (yes he knows)
that those that gather grimly at his graveside
to pay homage to his passing spirit,
will sigh, smile and softly say:
he lived life for the love of it.
Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Artist: Alexander Beridze. (1858-1917)
I do realise that the image bares no resemblance to the description of Alex – but those I found depicting his physical appearance bore no resemblance to the essence of his good self. This smiling man – with the sun shining out of him – is Alex!
(That ‘Alex’ and the artist share the same first name is purely coincidental)