Old Timer's Disease
by Ian C Smith

(for Moira)

In the coop of old age memory fades.
He defends each time the black bolt slams down
blocking the word – it’s usually a noun.
He concentrates, tempers frustration, wades
in careful thought through the alphabet’s sounds
starting with M, though he feels it’s nonsense,
hoping that lush garden of consonants
is where the elusive word might be found.
To thwart this dimming of his once bright light
he varies it, searching for last letters
when the first won’t unlock rusty fetters,
doggedly persisting until delight.
He knows this battle is one he can’t win
but meanwhile, he’ll make it interesting.

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