Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Farewells

The following day, no one died. This fact, being absolutely contrary to life's rules, provoked enormous and, in the circumstances, perfectly justifiable anxiety in people's minds......

(Jose Saramago, Death With Interruptions)

Those Who Go


Death bides her time on the doorstep
chewing a mouthful of stones,
bones harboring rebellion.
Times of sickness and need
God walks down the street
greeted in households and hospitals
by those gathered to
offer prayers and platitudes
pleadings/empty talk
Only Death remains faithful,
Will remain faithful.
But in this small moment,
she bides her time---
a brief adjournment,
a small respite
while she steels her heart and
swallows stones.


Those Who Stay


Time waits
grows impatient
the soul scheduled
for departure
should certainly
have departed
and yet
here stands
in grave stubbornness
ignoring the tap on her shoulder
the not-so-gentle shove
Death unyielding,
sifts through a pocket full of stones
Time waits
mourning an old man’s soul
in a second story window
who knocks on the glass
as if to call attention
Death loiters on his doorstep
Time waits.

(Images: Boccioni; The Farewells, Those Who Go, Those Who Stay, 1911)

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