Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "All a Man Can Do"

This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by an image from Artcarnage on Minds that I stumbled across, and by the "WILD CARD: death" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot.


"All a Man Can Do"


Death smiles at everyone,
but most people feel threatened
instead of flattered by it.

It's like a gay man cruising
with a curl of lips, a wink,
the shadow of a nod.

Eyes meet eyes,
but most folks look away.

So Death is lonely,
and kind of shy, but
always looking for
a new friend anyway.

There are a few
who startle at the idea
of Death's affection, or at
the idea they're worthy of it.

They point and mouth, Who, me?

And Death grins back at them,
gives a bashful nod, and
whispers the secrets
of the Universe.

It's what you get for
being polite instead of
acting like a jerk,

a friend who's always
got your back and will
never, ever abandon you.

Death smiles at us all.
All a man can do is smile back.

* * *

Notes:

Death as a physical process has led to Death as a personification in most cosmologies. Regrettably the fear of death has made most of those personifications negative.

Thinking about death is healthy. Knowing your goals can improve your chances of having a good death, much like preparation improves the chance of healthy childbirth. Here is a macabre but totally adorable article about how to have a healthy relationship with Death. Yes, he really can be a bit skittish, because people rant at him all the time. Also he likes poetry. ;) I think the image prompt for this poem has a sweet little homoromantic angle to it, especially coming from such an unexpected source. You don't usually see macho badasses talk about flirting with Death in that way.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, romance, spirituality, weblit, writing
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