Every Day

 the man who lives next door
died yesterday
or maybe the day before
or the day before that
no one knows for sure
when he slumped
and landed
face first
in a plastic bowl
of milk and cereal
the newspaper said
he died alone
among everyday objects
i stare across the narrow alley
into his dark window
as rain falls
in drops that grip the glass
like wide-eyed onlookers
and i recall the watch on his wrist
its silver second hand
the only thing on him that moved
still making time
though it no longer
measured his breath
how awful to die alone
someone said
what a tragedy
another added
but something in the stillness
won’t let me dress for sorrow
and something in the way
the bowl held his face
won’t allow me to disregard
everyday things
and when i close my eyes
to ask more of myself
i realize that
he did not die alone
instead
he landed in milk
bled from a mother
whose calf cried
on the far side of a wooden paddock
and cereal
plucked from watery rice paddies
in a distant country
by a woman’s sunbaked hands
and plastic
poured from the backs of fossils
a garden of tiny lives
who moved and ate and felt the rain
eons before we ever needed breakfast
and silver
blown from a star
smelt in a comet
and homesick as falling snow
no
he did not die alone
he died surrounded
and in his final moment
a thousand unseen hands reached out
to hold him
and i am comforted
again
by remembering
that he died
where we live
every day
 – kw

 

 

 Copyright © 2015 Kristen Wolf. All rights reserved.