artwork: charles altamount doyle
Eminently Well Met
by Gary C. Busha
(Honoring drawings of Charles Altamont Doyle, father of Arthur Conan Doyle)
one day we shall meet–
perhaps we’ll hook elbows in polka
or grovel knee-deep in mire, feet to feet–
perhaps we’ll shudder at our reflections
in a pond, or share some space
under a plum tree as the fruit falls
and rots and disappears.
shall I have time to straighten my tie
(before I die) or on a moment’s notice,
be yanked from life, too late to settle my estate?
Will it be cancer, a sudden spasm at night,
or the likely accident on the road
while trying to avoid the rotting skunk,
and by doing so swerve into a semi carrying 60 tons
of frozen beef to supermarket, the driver drunk?
Is there time to reflect the fast forward of one’s life?
Here I was a slobbering newborn,
there acne-faced in high school, then on the road,
driving somewhere, getting the cob without the corn.
Was I one who reached old age, sitting in a rocker,
staring at a blurry page? Did I ever have one single,
original thought? Or, was I computed and managed
by what I bought?
When we meet, O death,
how shall we greet? Shall I doff my hat? Must I bow
at your feet? Or, can we simply meet–
and meeting be eminently well met, hand to hand,
glove to glove, boney fingers laced, yin and yang?
~ previously published in Poems from Farmers Valley