Monday, November 5, 2012

    Canned Pears

On your last day disaster struck the land
For months you had been teetering on the Ledge.
Was it th’ election that pushed you off the Edge? ––
The knowledge that by hot air we’d been damned?

We did not know the last thing you would eat
Would be canned pears. How utterly banal!
You’d been my guide, my colleague, my great pal
On whom I’d foisted many a gourmet treat.

Yet, as your life was moving toward the Shade,
You lay quite still, and like a baby bird
Opened up your mouth without a word
And ate those pears –– your last choice ever made.

When you’d had enough, I turned, and cried.
You never heard. –– You had already died.

~ FreeThinke 


  1. There's nothing more difficult that being the watcher during a death watch. But it is what we must do -- so that, perhaps, somebody will do the same for us.

  2. That's quite good. Although I believe you are using this as a metaphor for our nation, it nonetheless took me back to the last time I saw my great-grandpa before he died.

  3. What a surprising interpretation, Silver!

    Sorry, but you are incorrect, unless my use of such a device was entirely instinctive and unconscious. That well might be. Poets -- like composers -- don't always know what they're doing on a conscious level.

    Given the timing I suppose many might easily persuade themselves to see political implications in the sonnet.

    In truth it is pretty much what it appears to be on the surface -- a straightforward account, albeit in strict iambic pentameter, of the very sad day -- exactly four years ago -- when circumstances called on me to witness the death of a great friend and mentor.

    Thanks for visiting.

    ~ FT

  4. A perfect post for me to spill my guts on the subject.

    The LAST thing I want when I am on my death bed is for my loved ones to be GLUED to my side. I want them there most of the time, I guess, BUT I WANT 15 or 20 minutes every hour or so to "let go" in piece, without leaving MY closest friends and family, the memories of my actual death. I WANT THE DIGNITY TO DIE ALONE! I truly believe that we have the ability to control the exact time we leave this world. Besides, even if I am wr--wr--wr--ong, what's the big deal if I spend the last few minutes without you. We spent a lifetime together.

  5. Hello, AA.

    It's a highly individual matter, I'm sure.

    Having overseen the care of two individuals in the final stage of their lives simultaneously -- a period that lasted over ten solid years -- I can tell you I have made up MY mind to die in my own home WITHOUT the clucking, mewling, backbiting, falsely pious, self-protective presence of PAID CAREGIVERS, who are by and large one of the more obnoxiously unpleasant groups our society must put up with.

    With only one exception the many I had to hire, endure and fire were nakedly envious of the very people they were paid to serve, unduly competitive in petty, spiteful and malicious towards each other, and tried in most instances to do as little as possible.

    If I had not been on hand to watch over them, God only knows what evil they might have perpetrated.

    Frankly, I can think of few situations worse than being old, alone, sick, helpless and trapped with women of this sorry ilk bossing me around in my own home.

    I'd rather just go into the garage with a full tank, turn on the engine, and let 'er rip.

    It may come to that one day.

    I do not believe God would judge me harshly for using my good common sense -- if there happens to be any left towards the end, of course. ;-)

    My personal beliefs on life and death issues are patently offensive to most Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. I've been through the mill with them on right-to-life and right-to-die issues too many times over the past decade ever to want to revisit the territory.

    Suffice it say, that since it's been my fate to have lived for twenty-five years with an invalid father who suffered a massive stroke when I was twelve and died after a seemingly endless series of health crises when I was thirty-five, and then to be charged with the care of three other helpless, needy individuals, which took up half of the next thirty-five years, I feel well qualified to say the doctrinaire "Christians," haven't the faintest idea of the implications of the adamant, self-righteous tenets they in which they so militantly profess to believe.

    Sorry if I sound angry.

    I do not regret any sacrifices I've made, nor any decent, kind, generous thing I've done, but I DO feel a definite FURY towards people who operate blindly by Rules and Regs, and have the unmitigated gall who pass judgment on others caught in desperate situations.

    Talk about spilling your guts!

    Well, there you have it.

    hope i didn't scare you away.

    ~ FT



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