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sheena blackhall

(18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Art of Dying


Let me consider the manner of death of others
R. fleeing from death from one quack cure to another
S. submerged by disease as if swamped by an ocean,
P, like a startled rabbit, a machine crushing his skull

And the family suicides, drowning chosen by two
water rushing into their lungs and stifling life
for the quieter vistas of longed-for calm, non-being
they still rattle round in my thoughts like a child's marbles
R.'s fingers tinkling a tune, P. turning a card

C. went thunder-struck like a felled oak
his sister exiting in a tangle of tubes,
someone threw a switch and her light went out,
all the baggage of marriages and days went AWOL with her,

a shrinking sigh, M. took her secrets and sorrows
into the dissolution of the grave, its worms and weeds

now they're forgotten like rain fallen into a pond
like chaff taken up by the wind and blown asunder
as I will be, and you, and you, and you..

Submitted: Sunday, February 03, 2013

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