Last Day on Earth
If it's the title of a movie, you expect
everything to become important—a kiss,
a shrug, a glass of wine, a walk with the dog.
But if the day is real, life is only
as significant as yesterday—the kiss
hurried, the shrug forgotten, and now,
on the path by the river, you don't notice
the sky darkening beyond the pines because
you're imagining what you'll say at dinner,
swirling the silky wine in your glass.
You don't notice the birds growing silent
or the cold towers of clouds moving in
because you're explaining how lovely
and cool it was in the woods. And the dog
had stopped limping!—she seemed
her old self again, sniffing the air and alert,
the way dogs are to whatever we can't see.
And I was happy, you hear yourself saying,
because it felt as if I'd been allowed
to choose my last day on earth,
and this was the one I chose.
River Styx Number 88 / 2012
Number 88 / 2012
Copyright © 2012 by Lawrence Raab
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission