Grave Flowers by Patrick McCabe

To Die with questions
upon my lips
could be sin.
Give Flowers to the living.

To Die with song within my mouth
could be the kindest
of final prayer.
Bring flowers to the Loving.

To Die with the laughter peeling forth
could be my finest moment,
help find my way to paradise.
Grow flowers for the Loving souls.

To Die with fear aquaking. . .
just will not do.
No ghosts to haunt
my final prayer
I will not have them.
Grow flowers for the Living Lovers.

To Die with tears of pain
before my time is due,
a pain, a loss I cannot bear.
Bring flowers to the Love In.

To Die while cursing others,
a sin I shan’t commit.
Forgive the lack of flowers.

I fear just this,
To Die bereft,
aged, destitute, ungrieved, broken, alone.
Grave flowers my corpse could do without.

Would you, dear women, please
bring me flowers Now
since I am still alive.

first published in The Arm’s Extent
I found this clipping among my things published by the student newspaper at the University of Washington on 1/23/1997.

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