Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Depressing Poem O' The Day

Miller Williams (Lucinda's pa)

The Old Professor Deals with Death and Dying

Talking around the block with no one near
but me, my sometime friend,
I think of events that punctuate our lives
and how, as a kindness deep in the nature of things,
death brings the sentence to an end.

How many of us, though,
when vessels break and minds misconstrue,
will say inside ourselves that we'd rather be dead
except that we're scared to die?
More than a few,
hardly disturbing the bedsheets, have said—
telling not quite the truth, not quite a lie—
"Lord, I don't want to die. I just want to be dead."

They'd leave living behind and go back to what
they were before they were born. Who can recall
a lot of discomfort in that? Like as not,
we're all of us going to no place at all,
a nowhere with nothing to pay, nothing to do,
no one to do it with and no one to care.
What a crock to have to suffer through
a damned initiation to get only there.

Still we stand at the beds of those who leave us
and cherish the seconds. Still our best dramas
depend on the death scenes, which all the religious
tell us are not periods but commas.

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