The fear of death is a disease,
It belongs in knowable degrees.
It belongs when the conveyors freeze,
And you are stuck in the machine.
Death sits in the center aisle.
To the aweless he presents a smile.
Sometimes, to the agonized, he presents a cup,
And greedily they take it up,
And they take it down and join with soil,
Quiet soil to be trod.
Troubles at end, the ground is loyal.
A friend in death, like breath of God.
The chilling thing is not the strike,
But a healthy limb blackened with blight.
The venom’s spread needs a healthy vein,
As does the heel to crush the snake.
In loss of all, there is no loss.
Without possession, there can be no cost.
So I say fear to fail a friend,
I say let the sucker live to fear the end,
As he sits in a chair and he drinks and it fends
Off the ache to make joy, in place play and pretend
Off the knowing that knowing is his flash in the pan.
And what all can he do? We all do what we can,
While the dark day comes one day closer at hand.
It’s a story for the worm, it’s a flag in the sand.
I know his disgrace like the back of my hand.
I take pride in it now, and that I don’t understand
Keeps me alone in the room begging you give me a hand…