ELEGY TO DOTAGE

Age is drizzling dew; earth retires, and frailty is set.
Poor soul, make your bed; empty your chamber pot:
no longer shall the Last Sacrament quench your soul’s longing.
Or, shall you outstay your offspring?

Owls have mounted on wings of mockery
where pretty bats strew, preening for pageantry;
there they sneer behind shattered mirrors of the past;
ah, this sordid stage of night…

Spotlight dances. It snowballs from creviced walls;
dazzling and charming the senescent eyes.
Along the broken blight, derail of the mind—in word and sight:
memory slips like water on a roof-sheet!

Life is waning virtue. Ah, sit on this ageing, petrified stone
and sing your elegy to rust and decay.
Oh! These frail embers of life slink in time.
I am done with this rain—of shame, and pain, and gray!

So painful, the travail of a child that teethes;
sucking soured milk on the breast—flaccid and fallen,
with those nascent jaws—green and toothless;
drooling, snivelling, then becoming a child again…

Now fade away. Fade on me, too, Oh frail flames!
may it dawn on the baldpate now
that the faceless reaper lurks at eaves;
and, strengthen frail fingers to die—never again to plow!

Written by: Kelechi Oriaku Ansel

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