Growing old

Sunset, Mustique

Felix Dennis
April 24, 2004
Mandalay, Mustique

A ball of fire is spilling in the sea,
The empty sky flamingo-pink and grey,
Cicada songs creak out the end of day,
A choir of tree-frogs whistle: ‘Come to me!’

Our feral cat is sprawled upon the wall,
The stone still warm beneath her mottled fur;
Her lantern-green eyes blink — she will no stir
Until her food is brought, nor heed my call.

I sit upon a driftwood bench and stare,
The house is full of laughter, guests and light,
I dare not stay here long, hid in the night.
The bats are out!  There’s one... another there!

Some fool has rung the gong. I catch my breath
As suddenly I know that I’ve grown old,
The courtyard cobbles, lit with bars of gold,
Spell out the hieroglyphics of a death.