Tick Tock


 Tick Tock


Yesterday afternoon

         I sat staring into space,

         as I often do,

         as the sun widens its venue.

A hazy image opened for me.

The polished marble

          had this etched message:

          "delayed consideration of mortality

        does not enhance the chance of immortality.

          Your chances are still zero."

Now what life reality prompted this grim message?        

Dust covered the reality

         of mortality as I excavated sites

         in my youthful days,

          as an archaeology student.

No prompt there!

That handful of piles prescribed

         gave no hint of what not taking them might offer.

And none there!

It was not the trip to the hospital

          to clear up the artrial  fibrillation.

Only concern was missing lunch.

Again not a hint.

Nor was it becoming an octogenarian,

         an old family tradition.

So no personal consideration there!

Reading the obit pages

         that could have been copied

         from my address book

         was more a sense of loss

         than a reason for concern.

Not even this was a personal message.

Eighty years having no end in sight.

Perhaps the beginning was

          the day I watched 

          the timer on the microwave tick away

        and for a moment saw

        an hour glass dripping sand

        and seconds.

But even then it is not consideration

          of my mortality.

Rather it was impatience

         because I had so much to do.

The marble slab

         with its somber message was the jolt I needed..

This morning I woke up with a full agenda.

So much to do and so little time


         Doug Minnis

December 1, 2009






Do all old people spend so much time thinking about dying? I find myself doing so more each day. Iy does no depress me. It is just always there with the slightest stimulation. It is gone as fast as it appeared. I have voted to think about death and not treat it as a taboo.