Tag: death


Delivered by Cynthia Ventresca

6
June

American Life in Poetry: Column 585
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

The greeting card companies are still making money, though the inventive online “cards” are gaining ground. Here’s a poem about pen and ink greeting cards, by Cynthia Ventresca, who lives in Delaware.

Delivered

She lived there for years in a
small space in a high rise that saw
her winter years dawn. When the past
became larger than her present,
she would call and thank us for cards
we gave her when we were small;
for Christmas, Mother’s Day, her birthday,
our devotion scrawled amidst depictions
of crooked hearts and lopsided lilies.

She would write out new ones,
and we found them everywhere—unsent;
in perfect cursive she wished us joy,
chains of x’s and o’s circling her signature.
And when her time alone was over,
the space emptied of all but sunshine, dust,
and a cross nailed above her door,
those cards held for us a bitter peace;
they had finally been delivered.

Comment » | Life

The Way We Said Goodbye by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate

18
April
kooser_hp
American Life in Poetry: Column 578

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I can’t help wishing that dogs lived as long as we do. I have buried a number of them, and it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, it gets harder. Here’s Mark Vinz, a Minnesota poet, from his book Permanent Record and Other Poems, from Red Dragonfly Press.

The Way We Said Goodbye

So many years later, the old dog
still circles, head lowered, crippled by
arthritis, nearly blind, incontinent.
We repeat the litany, as if we need
convincing that the end is right.

I’ll get her an ice cream cone if you’ll
drive her to the vet, my wife says.
So there we sit on the front steps
with our friend, and in the car, as always,
when she senses the doctor’s office
drawing near, she moans and tries to
burrow underneath the seats.

 What remains, the memory of how
she taught us all the way we need
to learn to live with wasting.
There we sit, together, one last time
as all that sweetness slowly disappears.

2 comments » | Life, Other Poets

Finding Rest – Rick Stephen

22
December

Finding Rest

I wonder if it is better
to die and have life cease
or to live, lifelessly,
without hope
to die ends all hope
but to live without hope
is much worse
and far more cruel
for in dying
there is rest from hope
but living without hope
this is not so
for to be human
is to have always
in the heart of hearts
the hope of hope,
the mere possibility
and so there is no rest
the hope of hope
is always there
teasing,
torturing
I understand now
why death
is euphemistically called
entering into eternal rest
I wonder which is better

2 comments » | By the Poetic Fool, Life

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