Death, and all that

Only one thing is certain, and it is death.
Forget taxes: political posturing.
Plenty of people right here
in the land of the technically free
and occasionally brave
are too poor to pay taxes.

No one is too poor to die.
You will die,
and so will I;
all the people you’ve ever known,
and all you’ve never known,
will die.

You’ll miss them;
it will come as a shock.
Friends, enemies, bothersome acquaintances,
those you love, those you despise,
no matter.
Death will touch your heart,
because you will remember
that your own time is not yours to dictate,
that your death is not so remote.

When it happens to be someone you love,
who has been a part of your being,
it cracks the structure of your universe
from end to end.
You see a life severed, amputated.
There is a terrible urge to step in,
to finish things for them,
to see out their destinies, to hell with your own;
it will wait.

But you won’t,
you can’t.
The things undone, the lives unfinished,
the afterthoughts left adrift,
these will haunt you.
These ghosts will be your companions;
be good to them.

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