catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Poems about Death


Oct 09 2006
09:55 pm

Hey CINO folk,
Thanks for the articles on this topic. It seems that so often we don’t want to really talk about death, but it affects us all. I feel that there are a lot of you, at least a lot of you "charter members" who knew my brother probably better than you know me. In fact, I still look at most of you as my brother’s friends. Reflecting on Kristin’s thoughts about how sometimes art and poetry can best express our feelings when dealing with something so incomprehensible as death I decided to share a couple poems I have written over the past few years when I am reflecting on my brother’s death.

My Brother’s Fossil

Whenever my watch stops,
I get a little scare.
There are dozens of stories,
Maybe thousands,
Of the mantle clock stopping
As an old man dies.
But specifically remember
My brother’s watch.
Stopping just days before the accident.
She first wanted to burry him
With the watch on his wrist.
But changed her mind.
And I had to pry the dead watch
Over your bloated hand.

A Letter to Danny Klaver When You Turn 25

The weirdest thing about having your older brother die,
Is that he stops aging.
Truly forever young.

And a lifetime of comparisons,
Of thinking,
"I’m smarter than he was when he was 16,"
"I’m cooler than he was when he graduated,"
"I’m thinner and have more hair than he had when he was 24,"
Suddenly comes to an end.

You wake up one cold Monday morning,
And suddenly, your older than him.
It may not feel like it,
Since you are still in school and have never had a real job
-Two things he did by the time he was 24-
But it’s true.
And in 25 more years, you’ll be an old man
With kids and a house,
And he’ll still be that 24-year-old kid.

You’ll be the big brother then.

I don’t know if this is a discussion starter, but I just thought I would share some of my own reflections on death. I would be interested to read other thoughts/poems from others who have lost people close to them.