All that talk of dying gone from him;
the brief eternal readiness was all
he wanted—slipping from the interim
of love. Adrift, or almost, he’d recall
that doctrine of Aurelius—that men,
regardless of their time on earth, were last
year’s leaves: you had your generation, then
another its, and so the drama passed.
What of it—if the calm directing mind
could say, “I am in keeping of my own,
I recognize in other men my kind,
in all of nature Wholeness.” Yet his tone
was off. The leave-taking of wife and daughters
waked him from his meditative waters.