In my darker moments I have often wondered if it might be nicer to live our lives the other way round,
starting with all the knowledge we will ever need, and slowly moving back toward blissful ignorance.
Or would it?
Living my life backwards
Coming out of the brightest light into the darkest tunnel
the journey takes me back into the room
with mournful relatives standing round.
I breathe my last, first.
Looking at their solemn faces, I smile weakly.
They wander off, and in a week or two
I’m back to feeling myself again
my tumour shrinking.
The visit to the specialist results in a clean bill of health,
so it’s back to work for me.
I already know everything I ever will know
so I must spend some time unlearning.
It takes me forty eight years to shed the shackles
of industry and business, of life and love and family,
of position and promotion, of marriage, child-raising,
With the slow dissipation of my knowledge
grows the gradual bliss of ignorance.
The days are longer, brighter, kinder
And my world is shrinking
The days get so long I have to sleep twice or more.
I now know so few people, I can count them
on the fingers of both hands, but it isn’t long before
I need only one hand, but by then I’ve forgotten numbers.
I cry, I’m fed, I’m changed, I sleep.
I feel the pain of birth, but I don’t know it
It is warm, immersed in this belly
My heart beats its first, last.