A free-verse poem about the order of death within a family.
|Each generation creates the next
for generation after generation
forming the links in their family chain.
There is a natural order to life,
the way things are meant to be,
with fathers dying before their sons.
Members of the youngest generation
pay little heed to Death, for they
are far back in the queue awaiting
their turn to confront their mortality.
Family members line up on the edge
of the precipice of life staring down
into the valley of Death into which
all must one day tumble.
Standing old and fragile, shaky and weak,
trying not to fall forward into the abyss
are the great-grandfathers, followed in turn
by the grandfathers, the fathers, and finally
the sons. Those farther back in the queue
unconsciously take comfort that it is not
yet their time to stand first in line.
There will always be line-breakers
who jump ahead in the queue and
leap into the void before their time.
Yet, as long as one stands not first in line,
he can postpone the need to acknowledge
that his time for tottering upon the edge
of the cliff will all too soon arrive.
But, when one becomes the oldest living
family member, it is he that stands and
directly looks down into the oblivion of Death.
He must consciously confront his mortality
as his days are now numbered, for there is
no other before him in the queue of Death.
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