Excepting Departures


We feel that we own our souls

And own our strengths and voices

We say these things are ours

Not allowing for simple debts and choices


Our wit and nerve and fiber

Our love and longings and laughter

Candor countenance and composure

The stuff of lending but not keeping after


While framing our temporary talents

We rarely noted the places

Our rental charms and confidences

And clevernesses each derived


Our children now have smiles

First ours we shared and then

Our every talent and height and wiles

Each in turn were given them


They seem to not glance our way

As they are using these muscles

This busy brains, their guileless winks

To provide time with memories now


But now our own failing lenders

Accept frailty losing situated salience

And constitution while we are spending

The same gifts that they have lost


While we say we are grateful

Our superseding gratitude

Is glossy spilled ahead over ours

And what we got we give


But now we stop and consider

The indignities of age, claiming

Strength wit quickness and charm

Unsteadied legs and useless arms


Names relapse and abandon

Creators of those very names

Who in failing fall silent in turns

Subtly sinking unyielding into the quiet


It seems with their spirits given us

We hoped we could simply send these on

While we could not keep them both

Todays and tomorrows both are gone



As strong, as sharp, as verbose

As loud, as dominate, as fast

As ever an arm lifted a child

Can’t they be left any of that


Must every syllable be passed on

Do we require in greedy aspect

To devour everything they were

Vindictive libraries with fines so great


As we return and confirm our debts

We find diminished lenders

We reach but cannot grasp

Brief ascension prevents ending


Thomas was right to demand

No silences into good nights

Except it is what we are given as we

Accept our own departures



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