At least you died beloved
Though surrounded by snow
And after the slow twilight
Had gathered and then gone.
Not how you thought to go,
Maybe, when you were young
And winter a long way off,
Before anything was known.
Couldn’t the end have come
One day in summer?
One perfect day
That would be like living always?
A field of flowers, warm sun,
Your loved ones gathered round
And after one bird’s wistful song
No pain, and no good-byes unsaid?
I harbor no regrets for you.
You were our perfect day,
He your warm sun, and we
Your field of flowers.
Dear reader, I’m curious: of the versions below, which do you prefer (if either), and why?
They built a grand monument to the dead
And the place where the stone was quarried
Soon filled up with rainwater
And the young couples would meet there.
Built to commemorate the dead
This palace stands, untenanted.
By the still pool in the quarry pit
The lovers sometimes come to sit.
You did not recognize that small things grow;
Before you could, the sickness in your bones
Grew large in hunger, swallowing you whole.
Should it be said you lived, who never tasted breath?
I cannot know; perhaps you can,
Who are so intimate with Death.
In Her dry land where all must come at last,
I cannot know, but hope you are at rest.