by Nick Hayward

Not easy to say when it began -
The slowing, and the going on
Through aging and the spool of money
Unwinding, and the jar scraped clean of honey.

Sickness - but everyone has that -
Despair - but everyone feels like that -
All up there trembling on the same high wire,
Each jolly juggler is a laughing liar

Clinging to hope: but hope won't break your fall:
You can't afford that luxury at all.
Your children love you and their mouths are open.
You'd feed them if your back was broken.

Never known a war; not even a bloody fight;
Nor a crazed, illicit love; and yet a Light
Is on you, frail, most ordinary man:
Your measured step, the motions of your hands

Kindly, protecting, bargaining for time,
Connect with unseen others, equally fine:
The hearts that splinter at each setting sun
Yet rise unbroken, slowing, and going on.

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