Exile in Old Age


The helicopter lifted off and rose up
fast and then fell and dipped over
and down again and then higher.
I never looked down; I was green
and then white with fear and nausea.

On both sides sat the officers,
serious and silent.
They set me down on this island
where they promise I’ll be
for the rest of my life.

Soon my stomach settled and
my minders cheered up and spoke:
I’m to have food enough and drink
to last my natural lifetime.
Well, I’m old and the planned trip to Kansas

was just a whim, a long shot.
They indicated the storage holds,
the large bins with everything –
but actually – I pointed this out –
these bins are not so very large.

Then they spoke about madness
and how it thrives in exile.
They planted well the fear –
a subject for a text, they said –
as they lifted up and away.