Old age
is a bit like living on an eroding desert island.
I find that my island is littered with tattered remnants
of Eros and hosts a countless number of graveyards
of lost friendships. It has become an arid venue for
marathon sleepless nights and is dotted with flat
rocks, inviting me to balance on one unsteady foot.

I scan the receding horizon for a glimpse of a sail.
Perhaps a lost party boat crammed with tipsy revelers;
men in straw boaters dancing the Lindy Hop with
flappers in feather boas. I shall beckon them to my
dock, ply them with coconuts, and beg them to let
me join their high-jinx until the moon quits the sky.
However, I spy only a formation of pelicans; seven
inky silhouettes flying in single-file, their wings dipping
in perfect unison. I fervently wish the memory of these
stately birds can usher me into the sanctum of a deep and
abiding sleep.

Lynn Elwell is a retired research scientist with poems published in over two dozen literary and poetry journals.