Half way

Mid way to seventy six.

I have it all (I did).

On the up, once,

Now down,

Until I’m stripped.

(You were taken from me.)

Pared, unwilling,

Slices, thin and thin, repeat,

Each bloody cut.

I shrink.


Half way through, I stop,

Stop, stop.

A moment on the peak,

Should be joyous,

Breathless awe.

(You should be there).


My story’s mundane, so many others,

Yet we each stand alone.


And the view from here,

I look both ways.

Rear view: a precipice.

Not one step forward,

I stay,

The flame shakes.


Still flayed, red raw,

I won’t go on.

(No way back.)

What I see ahead is smoke,

No mirrors for false comfort.

(I can’t look back.)

My head drops.

How long can I stand here,