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The Proximity of Death

 

The proximity of death

††††††††††††††††††††††††† startles us

†††††††††† as if we didnít know

††††††††††††††††††††††† it breaths

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† between breaths

††††††††††††††††††† as if we didnít know

†††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††from one moment

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to the next

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† it could it could take us

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† as if we didnít know

†††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††its always

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† with us

 

††††††† As sudden

†††††††††††††† as a phone call

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† in the night

††††††††††† As sudden

††††††††††††† †††††††††as a passing car

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† aiming at someone else

†††††††††††††††† As sudden

†††††††††††††††††††† as a wind swept tree

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† that falls

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† without warning,

††††††††††††††††††††† That sudden

 

And yet

††† The proximity of death

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† startles us

†††††††† as if we didnít know

†††††††††††††††††††††††† life could be so fragile,

†††††††††† the incidental click

†††††††††††††††††† of thin stemmed glasses

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† shattered in a toast

††††††††††† The distracted moment

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† stepping off the curb

††††††††††††††† The slight

†††††††††††††††††††††††† shift in the ratio

†††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††of velocity

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† and friction

††††††††††††††††††††††† driving fast

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† along the black

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† sleek

††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††face of it

That is all

††††††††† that separates us

††††††††††††††††††† And that is Nothing

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nothing at all

†††††††††††††† Not even a veil

 

There are days

††††††††† when the pain of life

††††††††††††††††††††††††† overwhelms us

†††††††††††† and it is deathís

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† gentle hand

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† that soothes us

†††††††† There are days

†††††††††††††††††† when rage and anguish

†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††over take us

†††††††††††††††††††††† and it is death alone

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† that offers us

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† peace

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† and silence

††††††††††††††††† There are days

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† when indifference

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† suffocates us

†††††††††††††† and the one clear

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† act of passion

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††that consumes us

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† is death

†††††††††††††††††††††† And in these moments

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† it is deathís proximity

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††that consoles us

 

Not further away

†††††††††† †††††††††††† Than an outstretched hand

†††† †††††† †††††††We all know this

††††††††††††† ††††††††† yet we are startled

†††††††††††††††††††† †† ††††††††††when the soldier

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††† next to us falls

†††††††††† When the child

††††††††††† ††††††††††† slips beneath

††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††††††††††the thin ice

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††††that a moment ago

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††we walked on

††††††††††††††† ††††††† When on friend

††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† †††survives cancer

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††† and another does not

 

We all know this

and still deny

That the proximity of death

is closer than our shadow

closer than a loverís breath

closer than the damp night air

closer every day we live

closer than we dare admit,

coming closer and closer

like a dear old friend.