Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Death Deal

This wonderful poem will not make the slightest bit of sense to anybody who has not lived at least half a century, with the exception of a tiny and laudable little group of verbally proficient and sentient young beings. The vast majority of their fellows will find it morbid, and in their smug, healthy way will dismiss this as just more nonsense from one of those old people who by definition has trouble knowing what's really going on. They of course are utterly ignorant of the fact that poetry is about what's going on.

So the following will make no sense to anybody with no poetry in their soul no matter how long they have lived. And this, I'm very sad to say, includes just about everybody.

The Death Deal

by Ron Padgett 

Ever since that moment
when it first occurred
to me that I would die
(like everyone on earth!)
I struggled against
this eventuality, but
never thought of
how I'd die, exactly,
until around thirty
I made a mental list:
hit by car, shot
in head by random ricochet,
crushed beneath boulder,
victim of gas explosion,
head banged hard
in fall from ladder,
vaporized in plane crash,
dwindling away with cancer,
and so on. I tried to think
of which I'd take
if given the choice,
and came up time
and again with He died
in his sleep.
Now that I'm officially old,
though deep inside not
old officially or otherwise,
I'm oddly almost cheered
by the thought
that I might find out
in the not too distant future.
Now for lunch.
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