Monday, June 23, 2008

Poem for passing on

Last Summer, I wore black
For Cancer
Waking the dead was awaited.
My widows weeds left
Unboxed at the seasons change
Standing at attention
In the closet
Waiting for the hushed room
The rituals of passing and bereavement.
This summer began with a mother’s
Not a surprise but a slow slide
With a horrific degenerative monster.
Death here was embraced in the end
As a release.
But of late, passings have been sudden
Unanticipated. Witnessed.
Hearts ceasing to beat in an instant.
We are stunned. Unblacked.
I wore orange to a visitation
Waking the dead in what I was wearing
To live.
No time to prepare for the grief.
Instead a room filled with surprise
Our stunned, dazed looks
Searching for answers.
Is this change connected to our
Grief in a world at war,
Endlessly battling terror and no
More at peace for the effort?
Are too many of our hearts broken
For lack of goodness?
And must the good among us
Depart so suddenly?
I cannot say for certain
If it is better to go when the body
Is eaten away by black cells grown awry,
Or preferable to pass in the middle of a sentence.
I do know that for those of us
Left on this side,
Neither option is desireable
In a season when all is growing and green
And flowering.

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