What is retirement? A giving up –
To lie down in the waste lands
And wait for the hedgehog’s snuffles,
The stench of fox and the sideways
Glance of a passerby?
Pull the darkness around you,
Listen to the wind roaring through
The trees, silencing the angry chatter
Of crows, feeling the day’s dreams shatter.
Scavenge protein from the dead tales,
Suck energy from the dripping fangs
Of history. Scrape old nails
To reach where low fruit hangs.
Crouch in the world’s indifference
And groan your old tunes
To hear the music within.
Feel the warm touch of loving hands
And mingle tears with the rain.
We are poor guides to the wisdom
Of old age – cataracts of experience
Blind us to the sharpness of truth,
To the flowing power of love.
The hedgehog moves on to new secrets,
The fox finds adventure in the night,
And the passerby smiles, whistling your tune.