Guess Who Stopped By

Death came by,
rang the doorbell,
shot me a text.
No one home
I wanted to say
but if I said it,
well, someone’s home.
He waited around,
smoked a cigarette,
checked his iPhone
with the cool
next-to-go app.
He hollered up,
I know you’re there,
let’s get a coffee.
What’s up with the ignoring?
I wouldn’t answer,
held the silence
like ice along a frozen coast,
desert dry, unrelenting.
His phone rang..
I’ve got to take this one,
I’ll be back, buh-bye
and he was gone.
He’s got my address;
once we were close.
I’ll get some counseling,
change my phone number,
unfriend him on Facebook..
I’ll think of something,
the air so cold
and darkness falling.





25 Responses to “Guess Who Stopped By”

  1. Rodger Hyodo says:

    yes indeed, she’s a great friend to have in a tight spot

  2. Tom Figel says:

    Don, this is very clever. I like the next-to-go app and, most of all, the personification of death.

  3. I LOVE this! Will link from my FB page. Glad we’re FB friends. Death has my address, too. I keep telling him he should stop smoking, because cigarettes will kill him.

  4. Tom Starrs says:

    Brilliant! Thanks, Don.

  5. John Albright says:

    Guess we all have work to do with this one. Life?Death? What’s the difference? Is there any separation?

  6. Maria Frid says:

    A very cleaver way at looking at the most feared event in our lives. I have been close to this unwanted event a few times. Voluminous chats, books, poems have been written on the subject and yet the terror continues, likely because humanity fears the unknown. Can this fear be abated? It is an important subject worth serious meditation. Thank you for bringing up the thoughts. Can we begin to see this as a sacred rite of passage?

  7. susan bennett says:

    Brings to mind the chess game between death and the knight in Bergmans The Seventh Seal.

  8. William Comer says:

    Christians speak so wondrously of a “Heaven,”—but fear going. Why not feel excitement for it as one’s next adventure? After all, “if” one has lived a life worth celebrating, then when one senses completion, one would just pack up one’s affairs and go, consciously. Death, where is thy sting?

  9. For billions of years I have not existed. Then at 4:30 PM, in Chicago IL, I arrived. For the last 79 years well, I’m still here. Then I’ll be gone. For the rest of eternity. A tiny sliver of time, minuscule by any standard except our own, I am a witness to 4 dimensions, Then I am not. Again.

    The Universe is ~14 billion years old. Let’s say it lasts another 14. 28^9 years. 80 years/28^9 is…2.8^-9 or the equivalent of 2.8 nanoseconds at human scale. That’s about 3 clock cycles or calculations on my computer.

    All I get to do in the universe is about 3 calculations (6 bits worth?) in all of (presumed) time. Not nearly enough to even create the period at the end of this sentence

    Don’t think I’ll want to waste any of that worrying about dying.

    Well put however, Don!

  10. thomas mcdermott says:

    Very different from most of what I’ve read by you and I found myself taken by it and very amused too. Death has been knocking on the some doors very near to me. I recall Pete Crowell speaking of death sitting on his shoulder as an advisor. Deep stuff.

  11. Jim Ehmke says:

    Outstanding Don.

  12. Sarah Hanson says:

    I Love this, Don! Death sits right outside the door and now and then enters in and whispers, “HELLO, I’m here! Want to trade places? Pay Attention, Be Appreciative, Offer Kindness. This is All there is. Be Happy, Enjoy. Give of Yourself Fully Every Day.” Life is Beautiful NOW…….

  13. Eilish🍓 says:

    I love this poem! !!!!

  14. David Banner says:

    Now, THAT is a great poem…sardonic, witty, real!

  15. Eleanor Gill Milner says:

    Good one, Don.

  16. Anne Blaney says:

    Wow, you hit that (curve) ball right out of the park Don!

  17. Ann Cooper says:

    Death, a universal visitor, rarely makes an appointment, unlike the IRS who sits on our doorstep every April 15th. I love this. Very clever.

    As a Christian, yes, of course, heaven is preferred over life here. However Christian doctrine also teaches that it is one’s Earthly purpose to serve the Maker by serving others while here. We are challenged to use our gifts or talents in a Christ-like, loving way. Until we have realized that purpose, heaven must wait. Having said that, we are permitted the choice of free will to decide for ourselves if we want to follow the road less traveled or not. Circumstance can also cut our life here short. But that, My Friend, is a whole different conversation.

  18. Marco says:

    Every moment acclimating to the reaper’s company, and coming to terms with the ultimate bungee jump, is a moment well spent. Thanks for conjuring his presence, and granting an opportunity for the most unlikely embrace.

  19. James says:

    Hey…wait a minute…I didn’t even have any of the salmon mousse ! 🙂

  20. Sigridh says:

    Makes me feel very ALIVE!

  21. Bill Dare says:

    Just got back from an Elder Retreat in Southern Oregon… reminded all to look around the circle as we never know who’s face we won’t see again. It was a great weekend and your poem brings Joy to my Heart.

  22. Pat Fitzsimmons says:

    Looks like you’re ready for one of our Death Cafes Don.

  23. Bridget Balsamo says:

    Delightful and authentic.

  24. ravenstalk says:

    I am familiar with this fellow’s face .. .. He usually doesn’t leave a trace ~ ~ ~

  25. I’m glad Llloyd called me back to this one this morning—you’ve just nailed that fine, ironic voice.

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