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Shake My Hand

knew you before.
In fact,
many times we passed in the crowds.
Usually, you were with older people,
seniors, if you will.
Occasionally, you embraced children,
innocents on this journey.
But, at no time,
were you ever alone.
Could not see your face,
always just far enough away to be blurred.
Not that you were ever shy,
by no means let me imply this.
Your excrementious breath,
anything but timid.

I just thought I would be older,
but, you always need friends.
My surety with life always so clear,
my state ambiguous at best.
The death-watch clicks it's wings-
preparation for the execution of my immortality.
Although the semen of life grows to maturity,
it is also the semen of death.
These, the same seeds,
harvested during different seasons-
my time for the grist.

There is no seduction from purity here.
Last vestiges of purity long gone.
Although this sepsis consumes the physical,
my spirituality survives the reaper.
Therefore, bring on your rigor mortis my friend.
Use your scythe or halberd.
Strike your final blow.
I have no misunderstanding as to your motives.
No fear,
only resignation and wonderment.
Release these yearning questions.
Allow them the freedom to explore life,
Once you shake my hand.


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Chris Stienstra from Millbury, MA writes, “Death is very much a part of life. When we are able to look at death as an extension of this journey, the possibilities become endless.”