Everything About this Bike Ride Tells Me I am Going to Die

This deep June evening with the sun pulling away from the sky

Sinking into the earth, its journey more than half gone, like mine –

This soft gold light finds a way through the blossoming dogwood,

Lights up the slats on the barn with gossamer gold, makes beautiful

The old;

This bluebird dead on the road, a bright blue period at the end

Of an unspoken sentence; above it five sparrows divebomb a crow –

The living going on with the business of living, defending, taking –

Without time for editing; only the dead can afford to punctuate;

This telephone pole that throws a shadow cross on the wooden slats,

This emptiness of the barns, wagon wheels inert against the silos,

The vines softening the doorframes, the barn stones put together

A hundred years ago by men and women who lived, once;

All these tell me that I will die, and soon;

And yet my heart sings the fierce green fields, the soft gold sun, the sweet Irises

Growing wild in the ditches, smelling for all the world like frosting

On a birthday cake; my heart swells like the waxing moon – and the five lines of the

Telephone wires draw the empty measures in perfect time, mile upon mile upon mile,

waiting for the notes

to come.

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