Friday, March 9, 2012

The Tie That Binds Us Stretches Thin But Is Holding Still


Death was not supposed to be like this.
A stroke or seizure, a fall into unconsciousness.
A bed-bound patient, compassionate shadows hovering.
These alternatives we could, almost, accept.

But not this unadorned, undignified diminishment.
One day you're an unmanned sloop cast adrift.
The mist thickening, the fading figure on the shore
so familiar it might once have been you.

Life should not have been like this. Diminishing
if not afloat, afoot, as you walk without sound
down an endless corridor of doors, all open,
all identical as perspective disappears.

At least that's how it appears to us whose
footsteps still resound, who can yet turn around.
We hope you're unaware you cannot turn now.