Senescence

Of waxing and growing old, of wearing down and away;
               common root of seniority and senility. Older 
statesmen sport silver hair or hairpieces; grandmothers 
               tongue their gums before they eat or speak— 
We age and can't regenerate new limbs. Our cells,
               bombarded by environmental damage and chemical
stress, don't endlessly repair themselves. Lobsters continue 
               to grow throughout their lives; so do immortal jellyfish. 
Are they luckier? When damaged or starving, the medusa 
               will fold and fold into itself until it shrinks into a polyp, 
from which new and genetically identical bodies grow again. 
               Immortal, meaning deathless, undying like gods: un-
like us, who shrink from strong and straight to helpless. Skin
               and spine rolled up, bones sifting lighter than a bird's.

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