Walking past the Institute on Aging on Geary,
I pass a parade of wheelchair bound old folks
who look more dead than alive on their chairs.
I smile, and say, Hi—but get no response at all.
Am I just one stroke away from their unsmiling
faces—catheter, O2 tank, diappers and all?
After a heart attack and a series of strokes,
William Carlos Williams kept writing poems.
I wonder if I’ll have whatever it takes to meet
the unspeakable challenge that may lie ahead?
Am I too much of a luftmensch to be able to cope
with the hard core of how awful reality can be?