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That Last Page

There's a certain type of acceptance
When you reach a certain age
As though struggling through a classic
To have nearly reached the last page.
Friends are getting scarcer,
Most of them have gone,
Only now in memory
Do they still live on.
To the world at large just old men
Who'd lived on past their day
To be mourned at their passing
And then just quietly filed away.
Once we'd strode the world
Full of energy and hope
Sometimes winning often losing
On life's steep and slippery slope.

The saddest sight of all now
Seeing a  friend in Dementia's grip
A once bright and vital intellect
Eroded by its constant drip.
We sit in companionable silence
But what does my old friend see.
Is he trapped inside a confusion
Does he really know it's me?
I squeeze his hand gently
When I start to leave.
I won't be coming back.
I think it's time to grieve.
I think this non existence
Must be a living death
As they slowly move towards
That last but one breath.

My friends are all decreasing
But to me memory has been kind
For I've all their smiling faces
Stored there safely in my mind.
I suppose that I've been lucky
To be so alert in my old age
Hoping I'll have all my faculties
When I too reach that last page.
Until then so many memories
To recall and fondly treasure
Of such an exciting life
Full of laughter, joy, and pleasure.
So I've said my goodbye
To that very best of friend
I'll just continue on reading until
I reach that page marked The End.

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