© 2012 Steve King
All rights reserved
When you labored your last breath,
I had long been elsewhere.
Bad news, they say, travels fast,
though it seems, not far:
I, who once knew much of you,
was then unknowing.
What are lifetimes, looking back?
Yours read well enough to me
even without note of us,
or other quondam artifacts.
No indeed--our trove lay deep,
hidden in the secret bottom
of some misplaced trunk,
while others that I never knew
gathered then to carry you.
Better to have never heard:
another year—who knows?—
might well do all for me;
or better yet a courier
less inclined to squander news.
Nothing now points much to old scenes—
though I still choose my moments
to puzzle over absence,
and the haze of ancient afternoons,
or sometimes on fabled afterlives
and happy tales of immortality,
which have always seemed to be
no more than an apology
for absences writ large,
Yet will I hold these things aside.
and let the skeptic's surety be tried
upon the very thought—
that there may be
a shadow of forever clinging near,
so long as this remembrance visits me.