Late Afternoon Stroll on the Cliffs
As usual, Death sweetly slips her arm in mine—
& we take a deep breath from the eucalyptus breeze.
We both worked honestly at our jobs: all day Death
destroyed traffic with wailing ambulances while I killed
hours & lines on eight-&-a-half by eleven inch pages.
We’re fast friends by now, Death much older of course,
but there’s no hierarchy between us: we’re both taking
a break from it all, glad to watch waves collapse on rocks
& pelicans dive-bomb fish. I try to be sensitive to Death’s
guilt: that whole pandemic disaster she can no longer
control. She’ll soon betray me too—like she will you.
I know. But today the gulls are silver angels etching
great cursive blessings in a perfect sky—so Death & I
make believe we believe that, & amble on.
Copyright © 2022 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 15, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
“In French, as in other Romance languages, death’s gender is feminine: la mort. So I kept her gender in this poem written in English, in which I describe our daily and friendly walks on bluffs that overlook the Pacific.”