I’m Afraid by Paul Elwell

Dear reader, I’m afraid before you go
Any further you need to know
That this poem is still under
Construction. If you begin to wonder
Where it’s leading, please understand
That, while I have it well in hand,
Things could still go wrong.

Please accept my apologies if before long
I run out of words and my thoughts
Become muddled and all sorts
Of faults and frailties begin
To confuse and subtly creep in.

I’m afraid it’s just the natural process
Whereby everything fades.  I confess
It took some courage to start
This poem in case it falls apart
And I forget what I was …..forget
What I was going to …… and yet
I know you’ll be sensitive and say
Kind things to my face, like “The way
You do such-and-such is …. interesting.”
But in private you’ll say, “Poor thing
I’m afraid he’s lost it.” So when
I’m of no further use and unable to hold a pen
When I’m no longer capable of rage
Or wonder, delete the page,
Do not encourage me to write
But pull the plug, turn out the light,
And in the dark while I sleep
Bury my pen certain fathoms deep
At the bottom of the deepest sea
And end it all with dignity.