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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2015

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Ken Jones
Aberystwyth, Wales


A Change of Address

My end game is best played out atop a sea cliff. So we have exchanged our wrap-around wooded valley for a precarious perch of sea and sky.

Stretched tight and gleaming
from cape to cape
the sea horizon

Chainsaw and strimmer, dear old friends, sold off. The wildwood exchanged for a coy lawn. A dinky electric mower for this, my second childhood. “A better place to die,” she says, turning her face away. And so, day by day, arm in arm, we promenade our love, as wave follows wave.

A red fishing boat
cutting its white wake
through our winter morning

And now there’s chemotherapy, as our penultimate forlorn hope.

In my mirror
this beardless stranger
deceptively smooth

Biculatimide, degaralex, casodex—those ugly, heartless words of hope that trip off the tongues of oncologists. Mine sketches time lines on the back of some scrap paper. Her Celtic silver wedding ring is just like mine. “Mean survival rate, two years more or less” was her estimate. An attractive woman, in her own way.

Heeling in our fuschias
how I envy their survival rate

My once well-regulated self, cast out into the bleak wastelands of sickness and death. I struggle to find a foothold on the shifting sands of meaning and purpose. My fading routines of must and should. Is this really how Inconceivable Liberation feels!

Each in our so-called easy chair, we enjoy the magnificent sunsets.

Some day
I’ll await a sunset such as this
and share its graceful exit.

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