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Spring/Summer 1997, Volume 14.2

Poetry

 

James A. Minor


James Minor (Ed.D., U of South Dakota) is an Academic User Consultant in Academic Computing at Weber State University. He is the author of three collections of haiku and senryu:
Against the Night (1986), A Measure of Light (1984), and Blackhill Vision under the Planting Moon (1982).

 

On Signing His Last Will & Testament

It seemed as if everything
had gone wrong
since the first play from scrimmage,

and now,
almost suddenly,
he found himself in the midst
of halftime and life,
preparing for his funeral,
signing documents to dispose
of everything, including himself,
as quickly as possible.

Just what this all meant
he was not sure,
and the importance,
now blinded
by the responsible thing to do,
to ease the burden on others,
somehow got lost somewhere
as he felt his signature
drying on his last will
and testament.

But he persisted anyway
with the thought that just maybe
death could be laid to rest,
once, and for all,
life notarized and sealed
and with it, the first half of life too,

but he knew, fully knew,
this was impossible,
that nothing is truly laid to rest
except within one's self.

Slowly, looking up,
he found himself staring out
into an unfamiliar room,
his empty gaze opening, awakening to the sun
and accumulation of at least
months of dust, now realized,

but the time to clean house
seemed all too familiar
and the importance less
than watering plants, digging garden,
feeding the dog.

Turning to a new page,
he noticed how clean it was,
that without words
there was nothing to read,
not even between the lines,

the unbearable white
demanding at least one mark be made,
that not to do so
would forever be a testament
worse than death itself.

When all the ashes are scattered,
returned to the earth
in the full light of day,
what remains
remains hidden,
and even now
better left for others
to find and gather,

moments to reap,
ones that linger within the space
where stillness abides.

 

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