by Michael Kalisch
And when you fall into your brittle age,
With the print grown too small upon the page,
Spine creased and folded, skin torn paper thin,
Teeth chatt’ring hollowly at the draught edging in;
When the bedpan’s unemptied, dishes pushed aside,
Television calling the times of next high tide,
Know, know then that you have not slipped
Quietly, gracefully into that long good night,
You have not faded like an ocean sunset, but tripped
Rather stumbled, waxed half-dead by phosphor-light;
You have been broken against the rocks, churned
And shredded, feebly splintered and returned
Clawing, in soiled underwear, at the page
Unfocused and unending, of your dull and brittle age.
Michael Kalisch is 18 and from Devon. He was an overall winner of the Foyle Young Poet Prize 2008.