When I am 70

When I am 70 sign me up for the front lines.

Don’t send the 19 year old getting started. No parent should have to lose their baby over the frivolities of old men.

Don’t send the 34 year old raising a family. Let them savor the moments of tiny fingers and first steps, of tee ball and dance recitals, of first loves and heartbreaks.

Don’t send the 45 year old veteran retiring after two decades served. They have earned the right to sit this, and all the rest of them out.

Don’t send the 53 year old first time grandparent. Let them rediscover what they thought they said goodbye to years ago.

Don’t send the 63 year old struggling to survive on social security. Give them a bit more and remember to visit more often.

Send me.

When I am 70.

Sign me up for the front lines.

Let the end of my life be a glorious battle to protect those just beginning.

If old men must make war, let old men fight those wars.

If disease must take a life, let be mine.

Leave the babies alone.

Leave the passionate lovers sowing their seeds.

Leave the middle aged building their homes, their lives.

Leave everyone still figuring out that life ends before it really begins.

When I am 70

And I have loved passionately, lost painfully, learned knowingly;

Send me to the front lines.

Copyright 2022 Rudy Martinez
©2024 Rudy Martinez