Patti Masterman

An Ironic Ending - Poem by Patti Masterman

Why don’t death certificates tell the truth,
In plain english without all the medical flourishes
Exhibit A: He died of a broken heart-
The only woman he ever loved went away
And he never heard another word from her again.
It is medical fact a broken heart kills you;
A slow, lingering death it can be too.
Exhibit B: She died of an empty nest-
All her offspring flew away finally;
Then she felt useless and slowly just ceased existing.
One day she lay down in bed, fluttered her wings
Once feebly, and just quit breathing.
The white coats might call it emphysema,
Or pneumonia or something fancy.
As a child I always wondered if boredom
Deaths claimed a lot of youngsters;
Since I always seemed to be alone desperately
Searching for something to hold my attention.
Just for fun I would sometimes hold my breath
For as long as I could, trying to keep my chest still.
But I always started to breathe again.
I would imagine how my dead alter ego would appear.
I never reflected that once dead, you don’t get to enjoy
The grief- stricken show going on all around you-
Finally the center of attention!
Main attraction- front and center!
And you don’t get to experience any of it.
Yes, it seems clear that in the end
I will die of irony.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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