The Last To Leave
Shortly after birth,
by william upton
We begin a process of gradual loss.
Before kindergarten even starts,
We've lost our baby teeth,
Soon to be followed by the disappearance of baby fat.
At school, we lose our independence to play all day-
We find, then lose puppy love.
Growing older we lose dependence on our parents.
We go to college to find new friends who we lose after graduation.
Losses continue as we marry, then divorce-
We are exposed to death as we lose family members and friends.
In the middle of life we lose promotions, opportunities, jobs,
Our hair, our figures,
Once in awhile, our minds.
Old age magnifies the reality, the losses pile higher.
Out of nowhere we lose mobility, productivity, energy.
Diminishing each year are our gifts of sight and hearing.
We lose our health,
And death knocks on our door.
As unpalatable as it may sound,
Organs shut down one by one-
Lungs, kidneys, liver, brain-
At the end we lose everything.
From birth until death, it is gradual but certain.
We give ground a little at a time,
Until we suffer the biggest loss from the strongest
And the bravest soldier -
The one that single handedly carried us through all
The previous losses.
The last line of defense,
The last to surrender...