So much easier if we died in order
no surprise when Susie gets stage four
since she’s two years older
or when Dave six months ahead
has a date with a semi on Route 66
now only Paula ahead of me
plenty healthy thank god, a god who by the way
is paying absolutely no attention
since he wound up the world and wrapped
it in rules like Robert’s rules of order
although now I am nervous
Paula is going deep sea diving tomorrow
dressed in scuba gear and anxiety
like a soldier in a foxhole I pray
to a god who left long ago
begging him to change the rules
slip a few ahead of me
maybe five or six
and yes that is selfish
but I can’t imagine the world without me
I want to sing lullabies to my grandson
before he goes to bed
I want to play monopoly with my niece
spending hours laughing and cheating
who will teach Sam to tie his shoes
or Sara to play some Schubert songs
I know others can do this
maybe even better, perhaps
with more patience, more humor
but others aren’t me
and I want to stay a little longer