He supposed it must be payback,
for too much time spent enjoying
the fruits for which others had laboured.
For years, he knew, he had been living on borrowed time.
Shortening days: he began to be aware of the silence
behind those forced and formulaic smiles.
Kind words and expressions of sympathy, but meanwhile
doors were being closed that used to be open.
This had been more than a little disturbing:
the sudden silences when he entered each room,
the stealthy undermining of security and status,
his removal from the loop, the world having moved on.
He had been for so long the point of reference,
the one always consulted, courted for his opinion;
these colder days he found himself excluded, even,
from the briefest glance at the plan,
while, outside, leaves had begun to fall from the trees
and the first frost of autumn was forecast,
along with a blue moon and its accompanying madness
to go with him into exile.