reflection on death

13 Nov


reflection on death



my old friend.

you weren’t supposed to take her.


yet here you are,

as much

a shock

as always,


crouched by her bedside.

waiting for her spirit

to let go.



my old foe.

bitterly i have fought you,

until i came to respect

your place

at our heels,

firm hand holding open

the final gate.



i know you.

i know you well.

know that

should i come to face you,

your jaw will burn

with the acrid

same bitterness

of my fight

that you have known.



o death,

though i know

i must make way,

i won’t go

without digging in

my heels.

we may grapple

more than twice.

i hope you don’t mind.

i know

you must be used to it.

few go quietly.



take me kindly,

not too soon.

not that you discriminate

or deign

to hold the prayers of the vain

too close to your

devouring heart.



whom i hold in my bosom,

whom i know

into my bones,

owing to your

unwelcome visitations,

our long hours together

have taught me much.

please don’t visit

anytime soon.

i’d prefer you

simply write.



you old bastard,

you do your job well—

but not every invitation

needs to be heeded,

so stop showing up

when you’re called to visit

a child

or a young mother.



well, you know.

a father.


and don’t attend

every needlessly



just send a card.


i don’t miss you, death

—yes, i know, you’re

all around me—

though i know

you enjoyed

my company.

i’m a bitch like that.




i really feel for you.

i suppose

the Who

had it right

when they said that

no one knows what it’s like.

i can’t say i envy

being humankind’s

universal foe,


holding the weight

of that unpleasant task

which must be done

if there is to come

new life

in the place of what was—


the gruesome task

of cradling a life spark

as you stoically extinguish it.

every being you embrace,

you must smother.



even so doing,

you nurture new life,

make the earth fresh

for its arrival.

i know that

must be paltry comfort,



i suppose

there isn’t another way,

else we wouldn’t be

calling you



o death,

hated antagonist of every masterpiece,

skulking specter,

dutiful assassin.

bosom brother of father time.

ubiquitous servant of mother earth.

black sheep.

though i curse you,

i embrace you,


with respect

with resignation

with a sigh.




don’t wait up for me.


and if i don’t return your calls,

take the hint.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: