Death

As a poet, I feel obligated to write a poem
On death.
Following on the heels of Donne and Bryant,
I want to make a profound sound:
Onetwothreefourfive, yes, just like that.

Honestly, though, I giggle at funerals.
The pessimism in me as we celebrate how great a father he was
Or how she cooked the best tuna casserole—
But let’s call a spade a spade.
He drank too much and her tuna casserole was always a bit dry
And the egg noodles were burnt.

We can cremate the whole lot,
Take the bones home.
A bit creepy.
Spread the ashes in the Pacific to swim with dolphins.
Have the bagpipes sound “Amazing Grace”
Or Aunt Lilly to sing her rendition of “Beautiful Life.”

Perhaps I shall just die in my underwear
Watching daytime television, rather than wasting away in a nursing home.

We’ve lost our traditions of death, and our celebrations—
We’re too fast to mummify…but freeze-dry is a possibility.

We celebrate life, from death,
But rarely give time to grief: we need traditions to grieve:
And a few regrets.

What is left at death?
I’m a bit selfish and feel that when I die, I’m done with.
The game is over. The living play on.
I don’t worry about Ozymandias or the grandchildren.
Why plan my funeral and have someone rattle on half-truths
To celebrate my lungs filling with air.
No will, no kids waiting for the house or estate.
Everything should be settled by a game of BINGO,
And perhaps the older brothers should have an arm wrestling match.

Donate my body to science. I’m done with it. Sell pieces at auction.
If there is a second coming, I feel God must do better than this flesh and bone.
Zombies may come out of the ground,
My soul may float at dawn,
And my reincarnation may for the thousandth turn come through this earth,
But in the end, I’m dead
And this race is run.

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