Will we know it when it happens?
And (if so) how will we know?
Will we know that we know?
Will we be able to recognize it?
Will the moment herald itself
with the shout of an archangel?
Or will we anticipate its coy arrival with
a kind of parental prescience?
Will we decipher cryptic foreshadowing
or detect an otherwise obscure clue?
Will we commemorate it in the moment,
in real time, en diem?
Will we parade it down the staircase
like Calvin’s living art?
Will we celebrate it, savor it,
memorialize, or mourn it?
Perhaps, like a winter holiday
that we tacitly cling to,
it will unceremoniously,
surreptitiously pass us by—
a moment unmarked,
until finally, in years distant,
as erstwhile nesters,
we cringe and discard
the last of our last child’s bath toys?
There are notes of melancholy
in every goblet raised to Progress.
Often a veiled pain accompanies
the celebration of success.
Milestones are marked and praised,
and dreaded as much as desired.
We long for what’s next
while we pine for what’s past.
And we never really know
which Saturday evening
will bring us
The Last Bath.
January 7, 2022