Life and death
Life, death-different ends of the same spectrum
in a box together. I think I’ll feel them through
the small hole big enough for my hand to reach.
There’s a void inside that’s not quite ready to meet
me. She has tasted of death, after life; a
life full of worries and strife, from a child to
mother and wife. Loss of a son, then a
husband, who she loved more than life itself.
I can’t feel her through the hole, which
makes me wonder where we go after
we take our last breath on this earth.
No sound of her laugh, always so hearty
and loud. No sight of her bright purple hair
or seeing her smile through the pain; I
wonder if she’ll ever be seen again.
But that’s death for you.
Death has a bitter taste to it, the
taste of stale bread and dirty water.
It’s as if the very essence of life has gone away
to nourish a new baby somewhere, maybe
not today but soon, maybe just before noon,
in the labour suite where new parents get
to meet their new born child, not thinking that
its life, their spirit has come from another
somewhere else in this world; someone who
no longer has the need for this essence called life.
But wait, I see life in the other corner of the box;
it’s calling me, shouting and all the while smiling.
It tastes like the sea, salty and briny, and it
feels like freshly cut grass under bare feet.
As I wrap my arms around life, I hear my children,
my lover, my friends laughing and hugging me,
and I choose to keep hold of this and not weaken.
I drop the box and life bursts out to meet me,
and I wonder where death has gone. The
smell is fading and all I can taste is freshly
baked scones with jam and cream,
accompanied by a pot of Belfast tea.
I can hear the tears of those left behind,
but life goes on and the pain will lessen,
but never leaves until it’s their turn to meet the
grim reaper who will say that it’s nothing personal.
I once heard that each heart has a set number
of beats, and then off to the next life it wanders.
Life and death-different ends of the same spectrum