Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Dying


Our dying isn’t contingent, but
If you say it is I might concede
Though not for long.  Susan grew
Tired of waiting and abandoned
Her hope.  Once when I had been
Upstairs she feared I had gone
And yelled my name in her weak

And debilitated voice.  Ever after
As long as she lasted I whispered
My nearness, on the couch, on the
Floor, and after a long while she sang
Herself in her morphine dream away. 
It is easier in combat, even if terror
Precedes death it is of short duration.

Dying in battle would guarantee
Passing to Valhalla where those who
Fought and died in earlier days waited
With mead and welcome.  Anthro-
Pologists avoid considerations like these,
We live as animals and die the same
Way, but which animal anticipates

And speculates?  What is to come
Next we wonder?  If Christ was
Not raised from the dead Paul
Said then he was the most deceived
Of all mankind, and in our metaphors
We are never content to merely die.
Some think it a shameful act. 

Others want to call and hear an answer
And have someone watch even if it takes
A long time in protracted pain.  I feel
Fit enough to fight.  A violent death
Would suit me now – carried out with
Knife or gun as long as it was a
Long way from medical assistance.   

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