Early Exit


llusive life expectancy:
at 80 it is 88;
at 88 it's 93;
at 93 it's 96;
at 96 it's 98;
at 98 it's 100;
100 goes to 1-0-2;
1-0-2 goes to 1-0-4;
1-0-4 goes to 1-0-5;
then live a year, get another.

This now goes on for nine more years,
until you reach age 1-1-5.
Then live six months, get six more months,
for at least a decade or more.
Then your life span window narrows -
Three months, then two months, then one month.

But it never ends - you cannot catch,
ever, your life expectancy.
At some point you will stop living,
before your life expectancy.

Everyone, thus, will die early.

I knew that your life expectancy - the age to which, statically, you should live - increased slightly as you age. My life expectancy when I was born was 83 years. When I reached 80 I wondered how much that had changed. The result is this poem, each line of which is a pi-ku. -jlw