Dogs 2014

SELF INFIRMED
(12/12/14)


the list
is long
and ugly

congestive
heart failure

pacemaker

blunt trauma
from a lost balance
fall

brain surgery

lymphoma
(non-Hodgkin's)

tumor removal

chemotherapy

recurring
pneumonia

all within
ten years

he was
a big
hulking
smoking
drinking
everyman

who had always
intended
to eat better

exercise more

but never
seemed
to get around
to either

he's still got
most
of his height
but is wasting
away
in other regards

now in his
early 70s
many might say

"he's lived
a good life
it's to be
expected"

they may
be right

possibly
it was all
bad luck
and not due
to his lack
of commitment
to a better
lifestyle

but as I reach
the same age
when he began making
his healthy proclamations
I continue
to walk

workout

eat
the most recently
living
vegetation

eschew
the meat
as much
as possible

at least
I'll know
if it happens
to me
that I tried
my best

he's struggling
in his chair
entangled somehow
with his oxygen
line

he stops

sighs

looks up
at me
with tired eyes

"it's hell"

he says