Get over it: death. Watch
the waves of light in the shimmering
leaves as they pass from
the sun through the garden,
then into the body of life —
here, where I am, close
to the end but not done,
poems to write, loving to do,
mornings to sit on the porch
watching walkers and dogs,
reading today’s papers.
sipping yesterday’s coffee
in the green of a paradise,
the ease of a peaceable
kingdom of ends, dreaming on.
Brimming with light, the garden
stands in for the soul, a vastness
within, the numberless worlds
we all move among, witness
to what we are given, what we will lose,
what we all know is always to come —
here, where beginning and end
merge into one, and, hand in hand,
the antinomies dance as if young.
The ending is nigh, always nigh —
mine, not the world’s, soon
to cross over, as the clouds did
the moon in skies I remember,
with women whose names I forget.
So what? So sue me, as we said
on corners in Brooklyn, the dead
cracking wise in the wintry cold
or on summer nights under the elms.
So many gone! Ghosts at my shoulder
watching me write, sipping stale
coffee, growing faint in the light.