Intro: up to 50 words (delete this text and enter your own)
At seven years I came to know
that there would be an hour to go,
a time to leave this lovely earth
with all its sadness and its mirth.
I knew that pilots in the sky
falling in flames from burning planes
were leaving ere their time was up,
dying before their time to die,
But I remember exactly when
the term ‘three score years and ten’
became a personal certainty
and meant that there would be
an end to autumn’s golden pain
and fir trees scent, wet bracken,
evening light and thunder storms
and even lilac in the rain.
It was autumn then and I was in its spell,
walking in its shattered golden shell,
and from that day I counted years
in autumn leaves, a currency of tears.
And now at last my earthly due
of seventy falls of flying leaves
has been paid out in full
and any year could cry ‘adieu!’
When that moment comes, I will take
low light glinting on the lake
as the sun slides down the sky,
shadows lengthen and owls fly,
the laughter of a gloomy friend,
laughter he needed more than most,
living where demons lurk in gloom
that laughter only can transcend.
These things I loved I’ll hold
along with that shining autumn gold.
And if I need help to pass through pain
let me remember the lilac and the rain.
This is a moving description of old age. I, too, have achieved that “golden” number. The final two lines are particularly well conceived. Well done, Daffni.