Goodbye, everyone

Funerals are for living folk;
The dead are unaware.
As friends and neighbours chat and joke
I shall not be there.

And yet before I breathe my last
Convention must hold sway.
A condemned man’s last wish I cast –
Suggestions, if I may …

Thus, having led a modest life.
A similar leaving
Is apt, and having always loved my wife,
From her the same receiving,

Our marital harmony should be
Recalled for celebration
And loving friends and family
Receive appreciation.

In earlier days I found delight
In strenuous endeavour –
To climb to some demanding height,
Lie supine there for ever;

Racquet in hand in court or hall
To join skill with exertion,
With mastery over speeding ball
And copious perspiration;

Or, mindlessly, day after day,
With wife and dog together,
Walk along some endless way
Through bog and sedge and heather.

Of late, since Time has clipped my wings
Pursuits less energetic –
Word games, verse and suchlike things –
Not even hikes to Dethick.

A sign, perhaps, of misspent age:
Twice-weekly games of snooker
When Bill and I, of equal gauge,
Amuse the odd onlooker.

The way you choose to see me off
is no concern of mine,
though after this I hope you’ll quaff
a modicum of wine

and reminisce on days long gone
when we were in our prime
and take your ease: your job is done.
I thank you for your time.