(This poem merely expresses my opinion for my own life, not a rule of thumb for other people).
I smoke, subtracting 11 minutes
of life for each cigarette.
In a decade or so I'll stock up on booze.
They tell middle aged people
how to cheat time: exercise, diet,
test after medical test to check this or that.
I've seen the future a little too personally:
old age and sickness shrinking one's life
to a single darkened room,
or forgetting one's family and even one's self,
or the man who shot himself
rather than go a nursing home.
I was young enough to think him crazy, then.
I wish I could see a vet rather than a doctor,
a simple shot given when the quality of life
becomes unlivable. Pets have it better.
Death isn't the worst thing;
Sometimes it's a friend.