Death's Rattle

Vintage Words


Just keep rolling sidewise, straight

ahead, or along. The trick is to write

as you roll. Retired from way too many

non-moss gathering venues, this is how

cookies crack and how writers crumble.


Rolling more slowly each year, when

you come visit me in thirty years,

stop smiling at this point please,

I will only mumble and drool if you

ask about some esoteric allusion I

wrote forty years earlier. Expect

to be disappointed with the answer.

You roll and roll and eventually

you stop rolling. 


I grow older. My ink well is dry too.

I now make paper airplanes from hand 

typewritten verses. The kids will like

receiving poetry this way.


Fallen arches are inevitable, gray hair.

If I use 8-1/2 by 11 paper stock as a prop

or clip out obits and epitaphs for support,

someone might figure out why my name keeps

appearing in the credits as author.


Thus elevated, my socks will have holes

and the toes will show their best literary

features; ingrown metaphorical nails

and simile scabbed bunions. These will

be known as poetic feet.


In the end, I will become you. It was

my goal all my days. Even though my path

was wobbly, like dice, I rolled. When I

tumble to a stop from the last cast, all

my attributes will drift across the game

table and land by chance in your suddenly

acquired ability to roll better.







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