To die peacefully, you must write a poem

so vast and frightening to yourself

you will inherit the wisdom to have it

buried off a highway for a few dollars

by a stranger who stops to ask directions

It will be the poem that defines your life:

outrage at injustice, disease and dying,

rare mornings of redbirds on emerald grass,

youth fallen sad foreseeing old age,

the betrayal of lovers,

long walks on windy afternoons

when you begin to think about eternity,

the mate you longed for and found,

forgiveness of lies and pain,

all those images that have sparked

your brain from the beginning

finally joined in perfect expression

of words confusing until now, a poem

never to be heard or seen by another,

the poem that will bring you to a moment

you could never have imagined

One day you may find the courage

to do that

I, for one, have not