Learning to Die
Death is not sudden, death does not grieve,
Death takes a while to achieve.
Death comes in layers;
Death is the mouse
From under the couch
At three am, and from under the stairs.
Death is the tumour on my mother’s skin,
Death is a jackhammer pounding in.
Death is a scrabbling crab on all fours,
Death is a jaguar on rough padded paws,
Lurking in the oven doors,
And hiding in the bureau drawers.
Death is the lump within my breast,
Death is the invited dinner guest.
Death is the cadaver,
A slab of cold meat
That lies on a plate.
Death is the wall of frozen sleet.
Death to me comes much too late.
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