Today’s prompt was the challenge to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying.
They say that “all cats are black at midnight,” but are they really? Surely some of them remain striped. And maybe there is an ill wind that blows some good. Perhaps that wind just has some mild dyspepsia.
I chose a phrase from Emily Dickinson who had become my muse for this poetry writing month. It’s rather a metaphor than a proverb but that’s close enough for me today. I’m feeling the joy of tweaking a piece I wrote some time ago when Ryan was still living directly underneath the Brown Line “L” Train in Chicago.
when death comes
emily says dying is a wild night and a new road.
i say dying is sort of like walking too close to the rails
when the chicago “l” whizzes by--whooosh!
dying tastes like a quiet color
in explosive rainbow proportions.
i hear the clacking coming,
i feel the rush of wind,
i touch the steamy air
just before that silver bullet train whizzes toward me.
i wonder if the actual moment of death feels
like being a rider on the train
watching the people stare
as i pass by them.
i wonder if death feels like new life.
i wonder if becalmanddie
would make a good slogan on a billboard
to advertise dying.
perhaps emily is right after all;
perhaps there should be a billboard sign
lit in blinking neon lights,
guiding the way home on the new road,
which just happens to pass a tad too close
to the Chicago l tracks—