Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Morning

Dear Friend,

On this, the last morning,
I want to make sure you know
How grateful I am.

Your kindnesses
Have been

And not, I know
Easy for you.
I have not been

A comfortable friend.
But time drove us together
Made us each believe

The other might supply
The missing end of our lives.
Lives, however

Do not end:
Only stories do.
Feel free to write the end of this one

In whatever way is useful;
I prepare

For the last day,
For a swerve and
A collision.

Only a presentiment,
You understand,
Not an intention.

But light comes around the corner
And Sage's dog Henry
Settles at the foot of the table;

(He likes to attend massages;
Most dogs do.)

Of all things to be feared
Surely death is the least.
Yeats got it exactly wrong:

Death takes what a man would lose,
And leaves what he would keep.
I can't well say

How little I fear
The sudden impact,
The snap

Of the cervical vertebrae.
It is only a moment
Of fear

A last clutch of all those
Fretful hardworked muscles
Which at last

When the rigor has passed
Will relax. And then,
Leaving them,

On to the next thing: a world
Of light and dark, of shiver and return,
Like this one. If we meet there

I hope I can be as kind
As you deserve of me.
Believe me, dear,

Always your friend,


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