by Lisa Marie Popp
Death, it lies on the air like fame
beneath a moon so bright
it lit up the plastic-covered sofas
inside dusty homes.
The old man no longer breathes
but exhales life with a sigh,
fearing he might die
only not on a night like this!
Death is the rumor they spread
after the bedtime story
a question of travel and change
but the kids are asleep
when Death arrives in soiled clothes.
The old man asked me to take a walk
in the cemetery where pointing at a mark
he said when you die
it’s mostly a question of light
like saying goodbye and waving a hat.
A slice of sight in time
Somewhere the people you knew
wait to welcome you aboard
like clouds moving across the lawn
thinking of playing crochet but never doing so.
The old man holds his hands in the air
an eccentricity so energetic,
wonder if Death is waiting there
among stone and pastoral beauty of grass,
provided you can afford it!
Death becomes a word
the boundaries of life darken
where we stand with umbrellas,
and there you simply are:
People smile like dust
at the stone that bears a name,
the shape of rain on a gray day
as a shadow takes its flesh
beyond the place of amazement.