He writes the last stage direction,
then disappears from the London scene
returning to Stratford-on-Avon
where he tends the lawn, hangs out at Panera,
argues with his wife about bedroom furniture.
Occasionally people point him out
as a guy who used to be a player,
or they’ll notice the plate — “Bard #1” —
but he’ll pretend not to see them
as he drinks decaf with the other retirees,
the ones who have managed to survive,
and they kvetch about the government,
how things aren’t what they were,
the sorry state of the globe.
From Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Press 53, 2016).
Used here with the author’s permission.