By- Antonio Rodrigues

I look at my scaffold, ceiling high,

I want to cry, but suppress a sigh,

The dimming light fades to zero,

I realise now I am no shining hero!

One more time, I look out my window

At the steeple, dome and minaret,

Edifices of hope, yet I’m sinking low,

Cards are stacked, have to pay my debt!

Teens practice dance and hip-hop,

Only the young can go way over the top,

An old man navigates his tomorrows,

Stealing time and moments he borrows!

Mother and child bask in sunshine,

But this is their happiness, not mine,

Stable planet will rotate on its reliable axis,

As surely as people die and pay their taxes!

Thoughts peer over unconscious, dark hedges,

Yesterday’s dreams hang at the ends of ledges,

Ghostly winds drop fallen leaves in my tracks,

As for life, it’s over, fallen between the cracks!

Rising to my scaffold for few seconds of free fall,

Some will see greatness, a man ten feet tall,

Others will wonder where my abject failure lay,

When mould was broken, he was made of clay!

Suddenly there will be experts everywhere,

All and sundry will seem to mourn and care,

They will speculate, theorise with indignation,

Slow train of blame stopping at every station!

Mental illness is a maximum security prison,

Seizing one’s being with chills and frisson,

The old man wants to live beyond forever.

Not me! I want to die today! Life’s ties sever!

Antonio Rodrigues