On News of a Friend's Sudden Death
[for A-M. K. 1956-2001]
How thin the cloth, how fine the thread
That cloaks the living from the dead;
How narrowly, from breath to breath,
We plait our rendezvous with death.
How swift the tenant flees the gate;
The landlord's writ, come soon or late,
Foreclosing slum or stately hall,
Hard bailiffs at His beck and call.
How feather-light the feeble spark
That shields us from the greedy dark;
Unjessed our souls like falcons fly!
How weak the lure, how wide the sky!
from A Glass Half Full (Hutchinson, 2002), copyright © Felix Dennis 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.