A Warning

Katrina Kaye

when you get older,

the words go.

they slip,

scatter,

strip from pen and page

stick in mouth,

in throat,

in mind.

they float,

flimsy as silk ribbons,

and frustrate the mind.

when you get older,

much rots.

the knees

crackle and pop,

the back

sways and scoops,

wrists stiffen.

callous thickens,

heels crack

in the cold.

if there

is not a pen

for your arthritic

hands to curl around,

you may never

hold one again.

if you don’t repeat

the words,

you forget how to

pronounce them.

forget what they mean.

cling to the words,

before they slip,

like silk ribbons,

from your grasp.

“A Warning” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories like That Anymore …(2011).