Not Dead - Poem by Robert Sheridan
But damned close
Medical science has predetermined
Maybe a flu, maybe an infection
Paragon of salutary well-being
Playing you like a two-dollar fiddle.
Welcome visitors from near and beyond
Sorry, but that’s all the strength I have for today
My heart is throbbing out of phase
Accompanied by an aching neck
Need to recover soon
Or I’ll be carried out on a mortician’s gurney.
Then I thought, maybe I need to wash my hands
With carbolic soap, after writing this prose
Whoops! Too late – here comes the coffin
Covered with lacquer and inlaid with pearls
Can I bring to the afterlife my crumpled photo
Of when I wore a healthier man’s clothes?
Formidable cemetery with stone turrets
With dried-up fountains
Rusted iron gates and once roaring lions
Painted cherubs with chubby heads
And an aging orchestra that plays
“Death March of the Marionettes.”
Place me in the ground
Surrounded by sculpted cement
Toss in a four-leaf-clover for effect
Loved ones all head back for a meal
No breaks in the line, run the red light
God bless the dearly departed.
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