Chana Bloch

Dying for Dummies

I used to study the bigger kids 
—they'd show-and-tell me 
how to wiggle my hips,
how to razz the boys. 

Now I’m watching my cohort 
master the skills at each grade 
of incapacity
and get promoted to the next. 

To the oldest I’m a novice. 
"These seventy-five-year olds, 
they think they know everything," 
says cousin Leo. He’s ninety. 

Who thinks, Leo? Who knows? 

We’re too busy reading Gratitude 
and Being Mortal,
passing around the revised edition 
of Dying for Dummies, 

still trying to get it right. 
And the young study us.