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Poetry Pleases: Time Left To Go

...The time left to go often occupies my thoughts, and others of my age.
A lifetime that seemed infinite not long ago, now has a more defined dimension...

As the minutes tick away John Merchant pedals a stationary bicycle, his thoughts turning to that most significant of countdowns.

I sit on the stationary bicycle, staring through the window,
Trying not to look at the red liquid crystal display
That tells me my heart rate -114, my speed - 63rpm, calories burned - 54.
But worst of all, the time left to go - 14 minutes.

Watching the seconds count back makes me conscious of time passing
So I concentrate on the construction work going on outside.
Today they are pouring concrete into the shuttering built last week.
Itís skilled, hard work in the hot sun, and not for older guys like me.

So I sit on the exercise bicycle, hoping that the hawk will come today
To distract me from my heart rate - 117, and the time to go - 12 minutes.
Itís a Red Shouldered Hawk and seems unperturbed by all the activity,
Perching on the fence that surrounds the site, hoping for prey.

It dives occasionally but always comes up short, taking up a new position.
Patience little hawk, your watching will be rewarded, if not by food
Then by my gratitude for distracting me from my heart rate - 117,
And the time left to go - 10 minutes and counting.

The time left to go often occupies my thoughts, and others of my age.
A lifetime that seemed infinite not long ago, now has a more defined dimension.
What will it be? A year, or five, perhaps if Iím lucky, or unlucky, even ten.
The glowing red digits count me down - three, two, one, zero.


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