Poem #48

Fetch me ten persons aged eighty,

Would you please?

They can be marathon-runners

Or sufferers, wracked by disease,

They can be grandparents (or great-grandparents)

Or the last of their line,

They can be lucid, and sharp,

Or not quite of their mind.

No matter. Go, and fetch me ten,

Then line ’em up like a conga,

Then measure the line; it won’t be longer,

I don’t think, than a few metres

(Maybe more for a wheelchair or zimmer);

But that distance will be equal

To the distance we’ve strayed

Away in time

From the Fifth Crusade.