The Last Breath

The old man’s mind drifted back as he lay dying,

remembering a world and of days less trying.

His vitality was gone, yes his time long passed.

Was it so long ago? He thought with aghast.


Memories of family and friends now long gone.

His name no longer used, they just call him ‘The Don’.

He missed his wife, his adored partner for years,

he had more than just loved her, as he fought back the tears.


Older than a century, but of his true age, not sure,

sedate now at best, his life but a bore,

Dreaming of youth, school and fun in the sun,

the pain of young love, then he thought of just one.


He could see her face, but her name, it escaped him.

Such an innocent girl, from past years oh so dim.

She was stoked, her friends said, and thought he was cute.

He didn’t mind and also thought she was beaut.


Although barely a teen, he was but one year older,

and he asked her out, as he got bolder.

She was really nice, but what was her name?

That memory had slipped, and he felt so ashamed.


He had teased her about her slight pigeon toes,

not seriously mind, and she held her repose.

They had not been lovers, she was more a good friend,

during those lovely days, he had hoped would not end.


End they did, but with a kind word from her,

unlike later lovers upon whom he did err.

They had parted still friends, but with tears in his eyes.

Oh, what was her name? His mind he despised.


He eventually left school and moved far away,

close friendships were lost, and in her hometown she did stay

Both married young, albeit to strangers,

but of maintaining that love, they knew not the dangers.


Decades later he thought he had found his old friend,

but she knew him not and their contact did end.

He wanted not a lover, that was not his game.

He missed his old friend, now what was her name?


As the years rolled on, and friends fell from his side,

Unable to even walk, on a scooter he did ride.

But age takes its toll, not only on the mind,

And the ravages of time are never very kind.


He was not to know it would be his last breath,

but he had lived far too long to be scared of his death.

When his chest finally fell, he would no more be the same,

one last smile then appeared, and he remembered her name.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 



The Last Breath was inspired by a number of things, my mother's slow loss of memory, my own life experiences and the death of my father.


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