Intimations of Mortality

Mortal Man Guided to Divine Eternity, Paolo Veronese

The cold steel cradles heavily in my hand
black matte finish reflecting nothing but my intention
snuggling next to my life-weary head as I stare at the pregnant moon,
pillowed by a freshly mown lawn
its fragrance numbing all my senses but for the sound of earthworms
toiling below, unseen, uncaring and ready.

Seldom had I asked the universe
when humility didn’t get in the way
for a few, homely gifts
that didn’t seem extravagant, or too exorbitant
that they had to be denied but were anyway.

No reason given
nor logic ever produced
just the long, excruciating silence of unheard,
unanswered prayers
flopping around on the cosmic pavement
like so many carp dying out of water
wondering why
and not-so-silently gasping for breath
in hopes that it was all a mistake
that someone had dropped the ball
that somehow wires were crossed
that somewhere this wrong would be righted —
all of which turned out to be wishful thinking
in an area where wishes carried about as much weight
as a firefly in a thunderstorm trying to make it home –
only able to see what was behind
never what was ahead
intuitively knowing that whatever collisions might be in the offing
surely could be no more disillusioning
than those that had already come to pass
in all too familiar patterns.

The impersonal
suddenly feels as familiar
as a long-lost lover
lying patiently by my side
no pretense or complication –
just a simple offering of its singular truth.