Today's poem is by Cynthia Huntington

When I Had Died

When I had died and stood nowhere,
outside of moments, gathered
beside myself, undoing,
vanishing into undone,
I was surprised. I always believed

there would be one more thing. One moment
had always followed on another,
always something coming after.

I searched in what remained of memory for images.
Already the swirl was scattering what I knew.
Like ash, like leaves, like birds released.
Already people and places mingling
equally, remembered and imagined.
My first lover, a patch of weeds behind a shed,
the low sun firing the branches of trees beside the pond.
There were other visions, too, partial and brief,
which seemed to belong to other lives not mine,
the whirlwind erasing distinctions.

Only one thing stood clear. I saw my great white dog
who walked with me nine years on wooded paths,
years when I was so lonely
only his silence could comfort me.
I saw him up ahead on the trail packed hard with snow.
He was nosing at a stump, getting news.
Even then he never walked beside me, but circled
out and back, allowing me the gravity
of a moving center. When he died he left an emptiness
carved into air. The silence of his being
could not be gathered up. He simply was no more.

Now I was gone.

Going. Gone. Still going. I was, I said, surprised.
Had I come all this way for this,
to see nothing added or subtracted
from being, to be shown that nothing mattered,
no account remaining in the infinite equation?
Could this be all, to simply stop?
Yes. The word hung, and disappeared in
the emptiness: nothing less
could be large enough.

Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Huntington All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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