Joy to the world

 By Marge Piercy

  Now I must learn to understand, to accept
 deaths of those I’ve loved, the pain
 of weak joints, new memory full of holes
 that days, faces slip through.
  
 There is no other life but this with all 
 Its grime and guts.  Breathing becomes an art.
 Every morning is still new and the sun rises
 whether we see it or not.
  
 Every flower is a gift I’ve lived to smell.
 Love glows more intensely in the twilight.
 I polish old memories, amber taking on
 heat and power till they shine.
  
 There is no boredom now for each moment
 is precious as a kitten and requires much
 care.  What can I take for granted now?
 My own hand is strange to me.
  
 I dream less and sleep more deeply.
 I let ambition rise, drift off like a helium
 filled balloon until it’s just a speck,
 free of its prods and jerks.
  
 I sit in every hour seeking to enjoy it.
 Everything slow ebbs and glides
 away, away.  My body has it own agenda
 carrying me along.
  
 Praise my aching body that still gives 
 me pleasure in the arms of my long love.
 Praise the land that feeds me and many wild
 creatures, that still gives 
  
 me joy in each season with its colors
 and otherness. Praise friends who help
 and companion me. Praise my cats
 with their loyalty.
  
 So much of my life was struggle
 to survive, to learn, to write what
 I had to, to find love.  I let go of all
 but love now till the end.
 

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