Monday, June 3, 2019

mortality: the elves, and us

a bittersweet “gift”

the elves in Tolkien’s Middle Earth
could think of mortality as a gift,
for we humans can appreciate moments
for how very brief they are, 
our treasured time able to compete with our losses,
imagine Gaia and how sad
to watch a beloved mountain disappear toward the sea,
all the goodbyes as creatures, as species, die,

now that I am 71,
the clock ticks “loss” at me more and more,
and I still use a ticking clock,
parents, colleagues, friends pass away into the mists,
what particularly wrenches me
is when I survive the students I’ve taught,

it’s sad enough when a long full life ends,
it’s tragic when a bud is blighted,
when the possibility that should flower dies before its time,
as if a story stops before any resolution,
but an abrupt “The End,” the final pages blank,

this week Facebook released to me
the names of too many former students
who no longer walk the Earth, breathe the air,
connect, build, love,
I feel a need for some closure to deal with it all,
their closure came too soon, too abrupt,
it just feels wrong,

let us honor those no longer with us,
let us connect, build, love,
for them,
for us.

by Henry H. Walker
May 30, ‘19

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