Gravely Still

Not a single mourner in the mist

No priest to say “And now we pray”

Just a casket

a freshly dug hole

two gravediggers and a crow

Cold enough to see your breath

But warm enough to dodge the mausoleum

No one in attendance

No one to toss that first handful of dirt

signifying the end of earthly ties to the living

I imagine a nattily attired corpse

still able to hear

Weeping at the silence

Embarrassed and dismayed at the poor showing

The muffled mummers

of the two unknown grave diggers

the very last voices he hears

a faint and fading

“Rest in Peace, Bro” followed by

“Do you want to grab a coffee at Dunkin?”

As a smile comes over his face

Relentless Time Regardless

time

We begin life nervously

Waiting in the wings

Queued up and ready to take center stage

Each of us a fragile link

in a fractious chain of humans

We embark on a quixotic quest

for meaning and connection


The thought of our transience

evades us at first

Or maybe we just refuse to let it creep in

We keep those thoughts at bay

We bury them under daily routine

for years at a time

Until we begin to sense

the slowing of the merry-go-round

and we see and feel

the snarled and toothy grin

of the carney worker

All rides must end


We lean hard from our painted ponies

Elbow pit married to the pole

We reach and stretch for the brass ring

And it’s promise of another ride

As if more ride is a cure-all

 it isn’t

As if more time will sand the jagged edge

of disappointment and regret

It won’t.

We don’t need more time.

We need understand how little we have of it