Just Die Already
When we were 10, our raggedy geography books
informed us that Eskimos put ailing grandmothers on ice floes
and shoved them off into a deep water rendezvous
with – what? Polar bears or starvation, we guessed.
That was 1964. You can tell: No one says “Eskimo” now.
We all went wide-eyed with shock, first learning how
humans dealt with the inconvenient.
But now. Ice floes are nothing. My classmates, wait til you see
what America has in store for us:
Alone like grandmother on an ice floe
but no peace, no solitude: Floating on a month-long barrage of
beeping/bright lights/tubes/needles and intubations
until even those are yanked from our carcasses which are bull-
dozed into unceremonial ground.
For each of us, our futile care pumps
30K into the medical industrial complex:
After working 48 years, our last gift
to this faltering, sputtering gig economy.
Somewhere some politicians are cheering the math:
Elder entitlement dollars roll back into the treasury
with every early death. Somewhere someone
who doesn’t know she’s a slave, who thinks
she’s essential, cheers her return to work. Somewhere someone
who doesn’t know he’s a slave, brags to Facebook that a few
senior citizens are a price he’s more than willing to pay
for his chance to enrich Amazon, IBM, WalMart.
And everywhere charge cards are marching
through restaurants and stores, an army that never fails
our overlords. And we are floating on those dollars,
toward our cold rendezvous with darkness.
Skyler Lovelace is an artist working in Wichita, Kansas, wrangling pixels, pigments, and poetry into new expressions. Her poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Poetry Magazine, Cutbank, The Laurel Review, and River City Poetry. Recently she provided cover art for Albert Goldbarth’s Between Waking and Sleeping published by Lost Horse Press.