In the town of the old men
Quiet and friendliness
Grow in little gardens
Bright flowers around the lawns
Red bean-flowers climbing at the back
The soft fruit murmuring to itself
Under a flawless eggshell sky.

This whole thing hurts:
It pushes in, soft
Furnishing tucks caught and pinned
With great care, love and neatness.
The pins are those
That murder saints and butterflies
Silently, quietly and like a friend
Under this flawless soft blue sky.

It hurts because it is inevitable
Irresistible, slow and unwanted
The whole body tumorous, or
Swathed in black mites, while tea
Cups clatter and soft voices reminisce
In rooms pumped out of air.
The sky is still blue.

In the town of the old men
The old dogs, old food, old houses
Old words drift like aphids
Sparkling in perpetual sunlight
And settling, now welcomed
Into their places, quiet
Friendly and wanted at last.