Death Poem

Bent over his lap,
he was a samurai.

Nothing deferred him from his work.
The hot sun layers down red lacquer on his neck.
The late spring foxtails scratched the soft skin
of his lower back where the shirt rode up.
On the other side of the fence he leaned one of his bags against,
a too thick husky was half-way through Wagner’s repetitive Cannon for Dogs.

In his hand was a tiny notebook.
A pencil scribbled letters the same color as the dirt
under his fingernails…
a death poem?

Fervent: Pausing only to swipe the nascent dread out of his eyes.
Serene: the lagoon river slid by taking the cormorants
with their tiny black necks
toward the sea.

Passers-by ignored his labors almost as fervently
as he worked.

The sun was empress of the salt sky.

Nothing changed.

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