I want to tell you about time, how strangely
it behaves when you haven't got much of it left:
after 60 say, or 70, when you'd think it would
find itself squeezed so hard that like melting
ice it would surely begin to shrink, each day
looking smaller and smaller - well, it's not so.
The rules change, a single hour can grow huge
and quiet, full of reflections like an old river,
its slow-turning eddies and whirls showing you
every face of your life in a fluid design -
your children for instance, how you see them
deepened and changed, not merely by age, but by
time itself, its wide and luminous eye; and you
realise at last that your every gift to them - love,
your very life, should they need it - will not
and cannot come back; it wasn't a gift at all
but a borrowing, a baton for them to pass on in
their turn. Look, there they are in this
shimmering distance, rushing through their kind
of time, moving faster than you yet not catching up.
You're alone. And slowly you begin to discern
the queer outline of what's to come: the bend in
the river beyond which, moving steadily, head up
(you hope), you will simply vanish from sight.