For you, the pandemic is only a
history lesson owned by
old folks who shudder about
having gone to Zoom school
when they were kids.
The fear of fundamentalism
was in its prime back then
And it happened at a time when some
in our country were so poor
they didn’t have
homes, enough food or health care.
Do you believe it?
I am your ancestor and you know little about me
No reason for you to imagine the problems I helpfully solved
or my taste for sweet juicy mango
No reason for you to know that I was a storyteller
and a story writer or that I tried
to help children
own their learning
You will live your life well without knowing how I
could bake chocolate chip cookies as well as Mrs. Field,
nurture sourdough for years without killing it, and
edit videos for online church services.
All my digital files were
put into the Recycle Bin
with one click of
(do you still call them that?)
maybe two clicks.
I remember how I died,
and because I couldn’t stop myself,
Death kindly came for me.
He slowed down for me to smell the
jasmine in the garden,
to eat the spicy rice,
ignoring the chicken.
He let me say goodbye to the butterflies
and cheetahs, the puffins and the elephants
He let me hold a newborn baby, pet a fluffy puppy,
and write once more with a fine pen.
He let me listen to favorites by
Simon and Garfunkel,
and Carole King,
like an old person.
He told me
the unfinished paper piles,
collections of “important” stuff,
unfinished to-do lists
could all be left behind
and no one,
really, no one,
All those things I had spent decades counting as gain,
I finally was able to count as loss
I can see how
taking Him by the hand
gave me more than
I could ever imagine
Prompt 116 by Mark Wunderlich:
Write a poem in which the speaker is dead but still possesses a consciousness and is capable of thought and speech. Include rich description and concrete physical details, as if the speaker is greedy for the sensory experience of life on earth.
Mentor texts shared by Mark, including one of his own poems. I used ideas or phrases from each of these in my poem:
“Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson
“Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh” by Thomas James
“To Whom It May Concern” by Mark Wunderlich
and a Bible verse that inspired me Philippians 3:8