On reaching the eve of seventy and three
I will light a cigar and sip a Dewars
not giving up anything
until it’s taken.
Looking over the hill, the sun is lower now
the days numbered, the shadows darker
as options fade to become commands;
no longer so distant the flashing light above the exit door
“All your problems can be solved if you will just give up the ghost!
Your arms are sagging flesh! Teeth in a glass!
Can fantasies still stir the root cellar?
Don’t you hear the dulcet tones of Gabriel’s trumpet!”
I will not go gently through the portal
into that good night
I will give up nothing until it’s taken
I will warm my face in the September sun
so long as I can write the words “I like it here!”