Life and Death
Tonight I think of how death
teaches us how to live —
crocheted in beloved family mortalities
nestled in screams cupped by answers
to live by, encased with mirrors
as reminders to enjoy simple pleasures.
Or maybe it’s that Buddhist textbook
with earmarked pages perched
on my bedside table
which describes our powers
of living by beginning in present moment —
gears fixed in slow motion,
like time spent time brushing our teeth,
watering flowers, walking our gardens
or meandering meditations in local parks.
Or maybe it’s those dead philosophers
like Socrates who profess that death
has no place in our lives.
Maybe I feel this way because
my many friends died last year,
and memories of mother in oblivion
in intensive care after multiple tumbles
from her aged horse’s back,
as she approaches ninety. Is this nature’s song
and a reminder to forge ahead
dwell in the moment
and make the best of each day?
Maybe my prayer will be answered
or maybe tonight I will slip into sleep
and not wake up or feel satisfaction
because I knew how to smell flowers
and water my internal garden,
and give myself permission to live.