(Courtesy of What’s Wrong? Advisory Board member Felicia Nimue Ackerman)
Death Can Be Good
(First appeared in Time Magazine)
Death can be good.
I’ll tell you how.
Just have it come
Decades from now.
Rose and Blue
(First appeared in Ragged Edge Online)
My hospice room is rose and blue.
The blue is like the sky.
They think that if you’re happy here,
You’ll be content to die.
They proffer comfort, warmth, and peace,
All shining like the sun.
They strive to meet your every need.
They meet all needs but one.
So now I have another scheme,
My object all sublime.
I’ve gotten on a transplant list,
And so I bide my time.
(First appeared in Free Inquiry)
My sweet-sixteen dress was yellow as the daffodils
In the seamstress’s cramped but spotless living room,
Yellow as the sweet lemon bars she made each Christmas
For the neighborhood children.
Mrs. Mueller lived at the end of our block
In a little stone cottage near a field of flowers,
Like a grandmother in a fairy tale.
She was old and poor and crippled
But always tidy, always smiling,
Even as the marshals took her away
After it came to light that, once upon a time,
She was a guard at Auschwitz.
Lenore in the Sunlight
(First appeared in The Providence Journal)
I wake at dawn and face the sun,
Whose rays caress my head.
I glory in the morning light,
Though I can’t leave my bed.
My will is strong, my body weak.
Please help me stay alive.
It’s much too soon for me to die;
I’m only ninety-five.