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Afraid of Death?

Afraid of death? Yet you die
more than a thousand times a day.
The thought of a father playing with his boy
after some seconds, minutes fades away.
The thought of a professor before his class
after some seconds, minutes fades away.
The thought of a hungry husband in bed,
the thought of a wanderer wondering
where he’s going or by what is led,
the thought of a responsible man, and more –
all these walk in and walk out the door,
a thousand times or more are gone
before the flowering of each dawn.

Afraid of death? Yet this body
is a new symphony number seven.
What you call death’s the possibility
of creativity and heaven.
The one that fears, trailing fears as well –
all these walk in and out the door,
however many times are gone
before the flowering of each dawn.
Both what’s beautiful and horrific deemed –
these pass by and by, like all things dreamed.

How many times has the youth you recall
or reimagine feared an ending as though
it were the end of him, the end of all?
Yet that apprehension or terror long gone,
or sadness that seemed to encompass his dawn
is now but a faint residue or trace.
You may be smiling now at the restless nights
that once descended on the youthful face –
and smiling at what his fear couldn’t see,
at all those things feared that never came to be.

Afraid of death? Yet in its light
is born your wife’s, son’s, and daughter’s beauty,
its light turning up the volume of your love,
its light love’s music and love’s poignancy.
Afraid? Yet the fear and being aware
and looking through the microscope
outshine mere optimism, faith or hope.
The fear penetrated: sap of every tree
seen through the eyes of a child, the spring air.
Fear penetrated: shedding of another death
that pretends to live, pretends the fear’s not there.

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