I went running in a short sleeve shirt this morning. I mowed the lawn in a tank top and shorts yesterday. As I ran, looking out across mist shrouded fields, passing my neighbor’s colonial breed of cows grazing with their bells gently ringing, I thought about another poem from The Truth About Death. While this poem was written five years ago next month, I thought it fitting for this morning. It was published the following year in The Sun. If you’ve never read The Sun, I strongly suggest you check it out. It’s a fabulous magazine, not just because they took four poems from my manuscript, but also because the writing is excellent, the politics are proudly humanistic and focused on the worth and potential of every individual, and all of us as a community of connected people, and there is a wonderful section each month full of short pieces by readers.
Some days I don’t have enough time to cry,
and then I miss it. A beaded curtain of rain
hangs from the porch roof; the Johnsons
have Christmas lights up. This week
I’ve been seeing you in the waiting room
in a wheelchair: exhausted, willing your blood
to behave, to qualify for a clinical trial,
any guinea pig treatment. By then
you were a withered man. If you were alive
we would go kayaking this weekend,
just to say we’d done it in December.
Last November we calculated how many times
we’d made love. Now there is thunder.