The Old WaysThe old are always protecting themselvesMore Like This
in the way they speak, shouldering words
as they soldiered on through pink and pittances,
buffeted by diminution. They dice their words,
dealing only as little as it takes to enamel flavour,
retiring the rest into Tupperware paraphernalia, repairing
to the bedroom, inaudibly behind a hardcover, which bides its while
where the wind blows, bartered by borrowed air.
Always the unheeded precautions: the seasonal stew
may babble with solicitude, never gusto
while the julienned aubergines justify every austerity measure
- each a testament to the Great War -
the quiet war of animation and attrition
as winter finds a comfortless corner to die.
Each a Diogenes to his own cause, saving scraps
of dignity in misplaced parables and promises of bequeathal:
the old play the precarious sport of procrastination.
Enumerating the fears of the same dogeared journey,
the prognosis of the situation is hardly original:
'When I was your age' - begins the fated period d