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There isn't much to laugh about
in old address books' clearing-out,
deleting each year those old friends
who've irreversibly met their ends.
Time's hour-glass has let its sands
run through, and it's not in our hands
to read whom this year Fate will fell
and when the curtain falls. Oh well!

Death swings his scythe, and those with luck
will hear its whistling blade and duck –
arthritic'lly, perhaps – but still
they've kept their old survival skill.
Death's harvest is now bones and shards,
beyond the reach of Christmas cards
and vague proposals for 'next year'.
The bottom line is: I'm still here.