Submitted to One Shot Wednesday: http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/
About the Dead Man and Books
“What haunts me,” said the dead man
to his wife whose ashes mingled with
his own, “are books I’ve never read—
the ones that puzzle. Think of War and
Peace. Names unfamiliar, trouble-
some to pronounce. And then those books
I never finished. Did you ever notice,
my dear? Generations of the same (or almost
so) names in One Hundred Years of
Solitude. And don’t forget the year
we pledged to read a book-a-week.
Recall how our resolve dissolved
before January expired? Do you suppose, my
sweet, we’ll have another chance when
we come back? Or might we be illiterate.”
More about the Dead Man and Books
“What haunts me more,” the dead man said
for no one else to hear, “are books I never
wrote—ideas fanned to life by life,
allowed to fade ere pen I put to page.
The words of wisdom and of praise
or prayer, sheets of blank paper yellowing
untouched, waiting to fulfill a mission
left undone. And then as rigor silenced
my old hands, as flames engulfed
my thoughts, I lie in waiting for whatever
lies beyond. Do you suppose, my Self,
I’ll have another chance when I come back?
Or might I be illiterate?