If I Die First…

Aging parents face an uneven future in which one will be left behind. FD Reeves’ poem “Home in Wartime” contains two elegant and inspiring stanzas of instructions for both possibilities…

From “Home in Wartime”
By FD Reeves

If I die first,
gather the lost years with
the late September apples.
At sunset ghost me
beside you on the steps
to watch the tangerine-lavender
clouds turn gray.
Go on, go on.

If you die first,
the sheets as cold as fish,
the dogs whimpering
their loneliness each morning,
the old walls cracking the silence—
I’ll lay your ashes
on top of the hill
where the sky begins.

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