His days grow longer, life shorter.
Long, deep rest a rarity
sleep snack sized
over day, over night.
Memories, fears, worries,
all the things yet undone,
all the people still to protect
Things to haunt him.
New pants raise the question
Cost against remaining time.
On the good days, there is no truck with the morbid,
Partaking gleefully of his jamun
vetting the dosa for texture
A whole life spent on the big picture
But never losing pleasures of the minutae.
Gloom lurks behind the door
an ill-timed joke away
a mildly harsh word
and he clams up, the visage offended,
words minimal now.
At dinner, he chokes on the rice
And we watch, having seen it before
willing him to swallow,
end this reminder of mortality
Surely the mighty banyan will not be felled by a puny grain.
He has grown into the immense shadow he casts,
Will he be allowed grace and peace
In this too short, yet too-long