Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

If anybody's friend be dead Poem by Emily Dickinson


509

If anybody's friend be dead
It's sharpest of the theme
The thinking how they walked alive—
At such and such a time—

Their costume, of a Sunday,
Some manner of the Hair—
A prank nobody knew but them
Lost, in the Sepulchre—

How warm, they were, on such a day,
You almost feel the date—
So short way off it seems—
And now—they're Centuries from that—

How pleased they were, at what you said—
You try to touch the smile
And dip your fingers in the frost—
When was it—Can you tell—

You asked the Company to tea—
Acquaintance—just a few—
And chatted close with this Grand Thing
That don't remember you—

Past Bows, and Invitations—
Past Interview, and Vow—
Past what Ourself can estimate—
That—makes the Quick of Woe!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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