Shudder

Shudder

 
The foot of death has printed on my chest
Its signature, and I am rattled free
Of time and its dimensions and the rest
Of the hard outlines of identity.
Now minutes mix with centuries as if
Time were an undeciphered hieroglyph;
For someone has walked on my grave.
 
O someone, walk in other places, please,
Whoever, when, or where yourself may be,
That I may deal with near anxieties,
In fear of now and not eternity,
That future where you wander without guilt
Over the grass my private body built;
For someone has walked on my grave.
 
“Grandfather Fool, thin voice I sometimes hear
Like scratches on a crystal radio,
Nothing I do will make death disappear
Or let your shudder or your knowledge go.
See the world whole, and see it clearly then,
A globe of dirt crusted with bones of men.
If we walk, we walk on graves.”
 
–Donald Hall, Old and New Poems
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