After Henry Scott-Holland’s “Death is Nothing at All” Have you found us yet? Found us all? We are singing, little bird-wing bones weeping for milk-toast, for apricot-colored me-free sky where we’d seep sleep- bound, unbound, un-raped and unshackled. Death is nothing at all, like blowing smoke it does not count, we have only slipped away into the next room, under the floorboards of— Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. See the bed frame? See the stain? I am Puck-Bean, and you are Mister, and the old life we lived so un-fondly together is untouched, unchanged here. Whatever we were to each other, whatever you made me that I am still. Call me by the old familiar tree. The live oak swaddled with moss in the small field. Speak to me in the easy way you always used. Touch my cheeks with your calloused fingers, spank. Dig my hole again. Play, play with me. Pray to the swamp god with me. Put my ribs in your mouth one by one. . It is the same as it ever was broken. What is my death but a moth’s slow night? Why should I be out of your mind because I’m out of sight? I am but waiting for you, in a pine’s womb somewhere very near, just around the corner of your potent kiss, your uninvited entry under the oak’s gnarled legs in the far field. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One moment and all will be as if you got away with knocking at my door.
Judith Roney’s chapbook, Waiting for Rain, received an honorable mention from Two Sylvias Press, her book, According to the Gospel of Haunted Women, received the 2015 Pioneer Prize. She teaches at the University of Central Florida, and is a teaching artist for The Poetry Barn