It’s the mind that is first to go:
As thoughts wander, the flesh follows,
The ticking clock’s worn rhythms slow,
A shell remains, the rest hollows,
Horizons fade in swirls of dust,
Futures recede, prospects barren,
Age sits down hard like barnyard rust,
Little to hold, nor to share in.
What tipping point the decision
To leave such life and go hither,
That one’s spirit seeks revision
And deep roots begin to whither?
When sown seeds no longer matter;
No food on this Kansas platter.
I post this note for whomever’s concerned:
"I lie buried back in my Union state,
For which I fought, wounded and then returned,
Minus part of a hand, my cruel war fate.
Chickamauga old dreams haunted me still,
Of contorted comrades, which stole my rest
At the neglected farm I tried to till,
And left that plot for this place far out West.
A soldier’s thoughts were part of my baggage.
A Kansas decade passed here in my bed
With old visions from my mental ravage:
Thus I had stopped living and so instead
Was dying right after the Civil War;
My bones now are East on a grave-shaft floor."