While I was rewriting and took a little break, I had this come to me. It’s sort of a culmination of things from my past. People I once knew and things I had heard. This is what resulted. No more and no less. Okay, back to rewriting.
When I was young, foolish, and stupid,
I wrote a poem about suicide.
The one where instructions were given.
How to do it. Where to do it. Why to do it.
I did not know how others would view it.
I simply did not care.
It was youth gone bad, tied to lingering memories.
Later when I found out a woman I knew had died,
I did not write a poem about her.
I dug through a box of cards, searching for the one
she gave me. The one with the Dalai Lama on the front
and her name written inside.
She died of cancer and so could too have this woman
I knew briefly in a city I never called home.
Her name I don’t remember. Her face barely imprinted anywhere.
The weight she lost after chemo and surgery.
This is how I remember her and how much better
I thought she looked. Her only identifier left unnamed.
Years ago, a family life was taken too soon.
She lived a month without a feeding tube.
Nourishing on what was left in her body.
Unable to speak with her dried lips and when she took her
Last breath, I stayed too long.
I heard my name called and let the medical staff do their thing.
It would be the last time I saw her.
Her casket was closed.
When I am old, I will say my premature goodbye
To my life one more time, not knowing how I will go.
I pray it is done peacefully in my sleep,
But I know better.
It will not be taken lightly, because when you are
young, foolish, and stupid,
death is never viewed the same way as others.