“I Was Afraid Of Dying”

After James Wright

 

Now,

at twilight, the grasses in the field are green enough

to smell.

White-tailed jackrabbits dodging to the tree line.

Their skittish ears remind us we are not alone.

Hiding in the shadows of fallen-branch shelters,

they are the most patient.

Perhaps now they fold their narrow ears down

because they know we are here.

When I die, hide me

in a bed of upturned oak leaves and the softest dirt

you can find.

 

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Taylor Collier lives in Syracuse, NY. Work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in The American Poetry Journal, Blue Mesa Review, DIAGRAM, the minnesota review, Southern Indiana Review, Washington Square, and Yemassee.

One Comment

  1. Andrew
    Reply

    The quiet, attuned nature of this poem is matched exquisitely by its deep-breath pacing. The turn at the end is delicate, the self-mourning full of pathos rather than self-indulgence. Rhetorical posturing occurs but shrouds itself in a sensitive attention to nature. A fitting homage to the jackrabbits and James Wright.

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