is not an unfamiliar guest

One day
he took my daughter for a dance
and never brought her back.

Another day
he went out walking
with my wife
and she too
did not come back.

My parents
were invited for his meal
and disappeared after the feast.

And many years ago
my dearest friend
was hauled away
too young
too bloody young.

But who am I
to speak such words?

As though I have the power
to decide
when life has lasted long enough?

death is not an unfamiliar guest
as is the case
for countless people
living life as though
death is not near.

For me
death’s reality
gives splendor to the life I live.

My friend, my daughter, parents, wife
are far beyond the reach
of eyes and hands,
but still within the reach,
the warm embrace of heart.

Of course I hope
that death will stay away,
but still
until the day he takes my hand
I live my life
and fill it
with my love as best I can

and hope,
believe maybe
that death will be unable
to make all that love undone
as it is now
for me