Old Age

Old Age is a indulgent parent
who, hoarse from nagging,
picks up after you –
ideals, enthusiasm,
reveries, apologies.

She wraps them in tissue,
and packs them lovingly
in the cedar chest,
where you never think
to look for them.

Old Age smiles at you fondly,
kisses the fat from your cheeks,
runs caressing, streaking fingers
through your hair,
stealing locks to press.

At the close of day,
she tucks you into bed,
and whispers words of love
before your long, dreamless sleep,
“There is nothing to fear.”