Sitting with Death

by Sarah Stecher


We think death comes in quick sharp blows,

An inhalation of breath,

And sometimes it does—

Metal slapping pavement

Shattering glass


But more often than not

Death is silent waiting: a waning heart

Watching daffodils rise from winter beds,

Milling around June’s roses,

Wondering, as leaves hunt gold,

If this will be the last snowfall,

Last eclipse.


And then one day it happens,

In mundane dust of afternoon,

While horses graze in the sunlight

And the hawk circles overhead,

Without sound or scene or sudden inhalation of breath

A door closes in a silent room.