In this poem, an older person contemplates being replaced by coming generations.
I have heard the expression “in kind” used in regard to investments, or when talking about the treatment of other people as you would like to be, or have been, treated. But here I use it in a somewhat more literal sense.
Enjoy contemplating the circle of life, in a poem that harkens back to the dark Victorian obsession with Death, where the Grim Reaper lurks around every corner.
Thanks for coming by to read!
As fleeting, as the faintest wind,
As raging, as the sea,
So does each babe’s triumphant breath
Portend the death of me.
His plaintive cries may rend the skies.
His wonder, all may see.
But so, the old are ushered out.
He’s hand-in-hand with me.
What time His visit? I don’t know.
He left a calling card.
I could be reading, watching soaps,
Or gardening in the yard.
And yet I know He’ll come, at last,
Punctilious and neat.
I never once have doubted Him.
He’s practiced no deceit.
What shall I serve, that fateful day,
When He shall come for tea,
And fill up my majestic house
With wails of misery?
Not His. Not mine. But one would hope
That someone, left behind,
Might note the gap the baby left,
Replacing me, in kind.
Copyright 2022 Andrea LeDew
To read an essay on the downsides of leaving this world (particularly if you happen to be a Confederate soldier) read Death and Other Ailments. To read a short-short story on death in a hot climate, read Ice Don’t Keep.
Happy New Year, Andrea. The circle of life continues . . .
Happy New Year Liz!
Thank you, Andrea!
In Kind, for me, is one of your most moving, memorable poems. Thank you!
Thank you Margrit! I’m so glad the poem resounded with you. I think the desire to commit a poem to memory is the highest praise especially in this age of ueber-accessibility. Another poem you may recall that I wrote had to do with Shakespeare’s speech on the Seven Ages of Man from As You Like It, recited beautifully on a YouTube video which I link on the page. In my poem I talk about how Shakespeare likes to criticize our flaws without mercy, but also brag to High Heaven, about our virtues. The poem is Jacques.