Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A poem about the basic terror of being mortal.

I woke up with a peel of thunder
Ransacking the sky.
Deep inside my dreams I wondered
If I was going to die.

Every night since I turned thirty-five
I've gone to sleep with the thought on my mind--
Oh my God, I'm going to die
When it's my time, when it's my time.

It's not an urgent matter, but
All other thoughts still scatter
But this one that keeps on reasserting
This basic knowledge stirring in me--

It isn't even worrying me,
But comes each night to carry me
Into the world of dreams from which
I usually wake unseen and stripped

Of every thought, except today.
The sky was shaking as I was waking
And something slipped between the worlds.
My fears forgot to wait their turn,

And there I was, awake with fear,
Alive, but once, to feel.

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