You watch over me
Keeping a vigil with your piercing gaze
Noticing all the shortcomings and foibles
The quirks and idiosyncrasies
The errors of judgements, lapses and indiscretions
The mistakes that were made.
With a shake of your head.
You watched me crawl and stand
Walk, run and fall as a child
Take tentative steps from youth to adult
Frequently stumbling, occasionally rising
Sometimes pulling back from the brink of despair
Without the benefit of your guiding hand.
Your reservoir of wisdom: it was empty for me.
There was nothing to ingest or imbibe
To steer me through the maze.
Now I enter the dotage of old age
My youthful vigour long gone, memory in decline
You still cast a rueful eye
Over the tapestry of a ruptured life.
I hear the bells of the time-keeper
Ticking the boxes in black ink
On the long questionnaire
Till life is reduced to a mere number.
Even you thought I was worth rather more.