One Question Quiz
Getty Images
Getty Images

BooksApril 6, 2018

The Friday poem: ‘But when?’ by Rachel McAlpine

Getty Images
Getty Images

New verse by Wellington writer Rachel McAlpine.


But when?


Most of us are afraid

of a slow fade,

a late grave.


Most of us equate old age

with panic and despair

and things we could not bear.


We say, Not us! No way!

We want to be hit by a bus.

… But when?


Most of us blaze through middle age.

Much later, we mellow.

Less yellow. More grey.


And later still, we fade.

Then death is subtle

and dying is wise.


I asked my sister, When

will I be ready to die?

She answered, When you die.


Rachel McAlpine, 2018

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.

Keep going!