Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Emptiness of Infinite Years"

This poem came out of the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] thnidu, [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] ellenmillion, and [personal profile] gingicat. It also fills the "growing old together" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest, and the "failing to plan ahead" square in my 11-3-15 card for the Disaster Bingo fest. Based on an audience poll, this poem was sponsored by the general fund.

WARNING: This poem contains motifs that many readers may find upsetting. Highlight to read more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes major character death, loss of a loving relationship. grief, loneliness, immortality, depression, and other emotional mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.

"The Emptiness of Infinite Years"

My wife's deathbed lament
was an ode to lost love, all the time
we would never have to spend together.

When the infinity herb was announced,
were delighted by the prospect of
increased longevity, the chance
to grow old together and share
eternity with each other.

Then the herb worked
for me but not for her,

and it was only after
batteries of tests that
the doctors murmured
worthless apologies and
explained that it could only
prolong health, not restore it.

Her final days were tainted
by the bitter realization that
we had failed to plan ahead
for the possibility of separation.

We clung together while we could,
but in the end she passed on to
a different eternity than the one
to which I had sentenced myself.

So I limped into the emptiness of infinity
with dance partner forever absent
from my side, my elbow cold
in the soft evening breeze.

A cure for cancer, sure,
they found that too ...
four years too late.

I feel altogether abandoned
by the present, haunted by the past,
aching for the times to come that
we once anticipated sharing.

I want our future back.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing
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