Friday, April 16, 2010

On Death

[Maybe it's a little too close to tax day, but today's prompt is to write a death poem. You can write about a specific death or consider death as an idea. In the tradition of Emily Dickinson (and other poets), you could even address Death as an entity. Or you can surprise us with a different spin on the subject.]

From birth we commence
with dying. —with no understanding
of this fact or knowledge of what death is.

Our life is wrought with death daily,
we experience it in little things—

first, cheap toys that that break down
and leave us…

the randomness of an ant crushed
under our feet…

the spider your mother took out
with the sole of her shoe…

the naked baby bird
fallen from a nest— it's beak open
it's neck broken.

It becomes more personal
with the death of a pet. A dog
or cat, or turtle… something to which
we've grown attached
up and dies…

and we learn
the deeper meaning of sadness—
more profound than the plastic decoder ring
that was broken and thrown out;
and I think

each time we see death
the world dies a little bit more
for what has passed on

and as children we are often spared
the trip to the funeral home because we are
so young; but at what point…
at what point do any of us
achieve understanding? At what point
do we suddenly have a comfort level?
I think never…

for death stalks us
day in
day out—

it will wait for us.
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