I will take my children to the graveyard.
I will let them run through tombstones
like shards of rain, beating into the earth
between cracks in the sidewalk, yelling
and laughing and hiding behind big stones.
I will tell stories, snuggling our toes into the grass
curled over the Smiths and the Wrights,
and show them the woman who lived to be one-hundred.
Seated on the tombstone benches
we will grieve those who are dead, and rejoice for those
who will never die--
who are alive
for the first time, the longest time, forever.
My children will grow strong;
death shall not frighten them
when they understand that the bones of those who have died
salted the world they live in, and gave sweat to the groaning
of this very good creation. And when they grow old enough,
they will lay my bones beneath the ready earth
and they will cry--
but they will also laugh, because they will know,
as they did when they played hide-and-seek among old names,
that death has no victory--
supposedly, it does not even have sting.
Death clutches our lungs for just this one, wilting moment.
Open and Unafraid
David O. Taylor