I've posted this elsewhere but what the hell, I'm going to post it here, too.
I wrote this last year, when I was thinking about how Old Eternal was probably in her last days. Back when I was an adolescent, I wrote reams of poetry but I grew out of it. Later, I wrote reams of rhymed verse while working for Hallmark but I never thought of it as poetry. I don't sit down and write poetry. Roz Kaveney–rozk
–and Earl Cooley III
are two of my favourite contemporary poets. Both Roz and Earl can write sonnets, which is no mean feat. I am in awe of them.
This is not a sonnet. This is how it occurred to me, unedited, no re-writes.
(And of course, it is pure flight of fancy. I believe that we were put on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things, and I am now so far behind that I can never die.)
In The Event Of My Sudden Yet Unexpected Death
I must have had an accident, or maybe
My luck ran out, went bad, or just packed up and left,
Because it was tired of hearing me bitch
I had plenty to eat, clean drinking water, a roof over my head,
More belongings than I could keep track of
Including–especially–good books to read
Not to mention more love than most
Over the course of my funny little life,
More love than I probably deserved
Although to be honest, I feel love is the one thing
We are all entitled to.
This is just to say in passing–
Passing away, that is
I'm not sorry about anything I did
Well, not any more.
And I don't want you to be,
We did the best we could
Under the circumstances
And let's not forget all the frailties
Our flesh is not only heir to
But also colludes with. Often.
Perhaps it's the height of presumption
For me to say
Don't worry about forgiving me
But I say it anyway:
Don't worry about forgiving me,
Because now I've been forgiven
Don't worry about
What you didn't tell me
Because now I know what it was
(And probably always did).
If you're not sure this is addressed
Let me remove all doubt:
Don't worry about the parts
That don't seem to apply to you
I'm working with a big canvas here
And not all of what appears on it
Will look familiar,
Although you'll probably recognise the style.
For the most part, anyway.
But don't worry if you don't.
There are a limited number of angles
For us to see things from,
Including each other.
If it comforts you to think
We'll meet in heaven
I don't mind.
But in the spirit of
I have to tell you that
I don't think I'll be there.
Because I have had my heaven
Here with you
So I think they have to send me
(Not hell; we've had that already, too.)
All right, I'll grant that
Maybe heaven has a heaven,
Full of things we didn't get to try
Or didn't get right the first time
Or the second
Or the hundredth.
We don't know.
Here is what we do know:
Stars are born from the remnants
Of old novas
(All right, 'novae', if it makes you happy)
Everything that reaches the end of its useful life
Breaks down into simpler parts
Which meet again in new combinations:
New forms of already-familiar things.
If that's the case
(And I really think it is),
I'll know you anywhere,
This life, or any other.
(I can't believe I committed poetry.)