Dying At Ninety

As aged driftwood,
smoothly beautiful;
voyaged and beached,
sea-swept and sanded
so many times before;
so you now
as the shore, with regret,
surrenders you for the last time
and ebb-tide laps gently lower and low-
peaceful dusk water receding,
imperceptible current drawing;
you are tenderly lulled away,
cradled carefully hour by hour
by a power other than your own.
Driftwood cherishes the distant memory
of a home-tree, fond:
seed to sapling,
full-grown, fallen,
carries its past
in every grain and groove,
poignantly recalls its life
as worker wood used and loved.
Driftwood, you (you)
possess a humble dignity,
hoping your future
in the glimmering dream
that sings regardless
of what the present sourly insists:
of splendid new leaf green,
of a richly scented,
lovingly tended tree.
This will be.
This you will be
because of the tide’s taking you
beyond the rim of the horizon,
off the edge of the earth.

Grief and Loss