Marybeth Bishop

Eight Ways to Not Look at Death

I will open the box next week
Unless I cleverly forget where I put it.

Yes, I would love another assignment.

No, I don’t want to go to bed yet.

If you try to hold my hand during the Our Father, I will cut you.
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

Yeah, I guess I have time for a cup of coffee.

I leave my hood down in the chilly mist
Despite the good hair day.
A tiny bird hides behind new buds and chhirrups merrily.

“It’s gone it’s gone all gone.”
“All gone all gone all gone.”

He’s talking about winter.

The path to the water is mounded with fresh clean mulch,
but I remember what’s underneath.
I resist the urge to scar the surface with my toe.

I should probably get a prize for this.

The osprey is back, making its nest.
Or maybe it’s the offspring of last year’s — I can’t tell.
I think they live a long time,
but probably not forever.

It looks haggard after gathering a few sticks.
It squawks to its mate, and I’m startled
by how high and whiny it sounds for a badass raptor.

I guess starting over exhausts everyone.

“How old are you?”
“Older than you.”
“So, you’re definitely an adult.”

“I guess you don’t qualify as an orphan, then.”