Six Ways of Viewing the Death

By Jeff Neidt

—after Nienow

 

I

To the Greeks, death was a river

to cross. To the Norse, a feast

in the Great Hall, and the Dakota

saw an intermission

in the great theatre of life.

 

II

The vision of death—

of white robe and golden light

—stands before us like a stray

bolt of lightning.

 

III

What about this death lies

in you? Or is it more of a

vision? Yet again, a ghost

that’s been haunting us

both—more like a memory.

 

IV

Once I dreamt you

died. Standing on a bridge,

and in a moment

like a clap of thunder,

the bridge disappeared

and you floated.

Hanging like a star

waiting to be wished on.

 

V

Death is not a held hand

or warm breeze. Death is

tangled root, and

copper taste.

 

VI

We watched your death like a trapeze act—

open mouthed, hands outstretched,

and frozen-lunged.

Unsure of what comes next.

But waiting for the fall.


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