Although he couldn't tell a joke,
He took too long, and timing's everything,
I took more pleasure in his life
Than any other man's
For attention given to a curious mind
Whose interests shadowed his own.
A writer who encouraged writing,
A thinker who encouraged thought,
A naturalist who encouraged science,
Greatness encouraging greatness that he saw,
A hidden strength he could hide no more
When the first strike against his mind
Became the stroke that changed his life
From one who loved birds, raccoons, and moths
To one who found one with desire,
Strength no one thought he'd had.
With every stroke that struck him down
He fought back with an inner power,
Slowly forced to give up his loves
So he could fight for life,
A battle of will against fierce time,
Blood vessels determined to pop,
He fought for years,
No matter his fears,
No matter the bad news he got,
New stroke, new seizures, fainting spells,
Whose awful onslaught soon would end,
Despite the strength of the fight.
Death's relentless fortitude
Would finally bring on time's last stroke.