in my early twenties I went along with Dylan Thomas boasting that I wanted to go out not gently but raging shaking my fist — staring death down
however this daring statement was somewhat revised when in my forties I realized that death does the staring I do the down
so I began hoping it would happen to me like it happened to the sentry in all those John Wayne Fort Apache movies found dead in the morning face down an arrow in the back "Poor devil." the Sergeant always said "Never knew what hit him."
at the time I liked that... the end taking me completely by surprise the bravado left in the hands of a hard drinking Welshman still wet behind the ears
older and wiser now — seventy eight and with a terminal disease the only thing right about what the Sergeant said was the "Poor devil" part
"Poor devil" never used an opening to tell loved ones he loved them never seized the opportunity to give praise for the sun rise or drink in a sunset moment after moment passing him by while he marched through his life staring straight ahead believing in tomorrow "Poor devil!"
how much fuller richer and pleasing life becomes when you are lucky enough to see the arrow coming
Since February 14, 1999, poet/philosopher RIC MASTEN has been keeping an ongoing account of his battle with Incurable Advanced Metastatic Prostate Cancer — from diagnosis to the "Latest Update." He keeps this unique digest in poetry, musings and medical tidbits. Updating as the war goes on. He welcomes calls and correspondence from fellow cancer fighters. Visit his website at: http://www.ric-masten.net/Prostate.Series.html