by Carolin Messier
High above the streets of getting and spending,
you crave yet revile
the manic pace of modern life.
Evolved, yet so primitive,
you race to appease your basest needs
of safety and security.
But all those objects and all that glitter and gold
and letters after your name
or letters before your name
won’t save you from death.
He’ll come knocking when he’s good and ready,
regardless of what’s on your calendar.
He won’t ask whether you have time
before you pick up the kids
or after the charity dinner;
he doesn’t care how much you get done
or whether you’re admired.
He won’t care if you’ve had your roots dyed
or your nails done
or you’re wearing your ratty panties
because all the nice ones
are in a pile in the corner of the room
waiting for the wash that’s overdue.
Your mother would be mortified
and roll her eyes,
but death won’t care.
He’ll take you as you are,
like you always imagined a lover would,
but you never really felt.
Or was that you who wouldn’t let the lover see
your graying roots
and dirty nails
and frayed panties over hips that are one size,
ok, two sizes too big for the elastic
that digs into stretch-marked hips and thighs.
Death doesn’t care about extra pounds
he’ll take you as you are,
even if the recycling
and compost bins are mixed up
and the bed’s unmade
and the messages go un-listened to.