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She Speaks of Death -- Barbara Pescan

Guest poem sent in by John Beaty
(Poem #1209) She Speaks of Death
 Oblivion, she said
 in a weary voice,
 is what is after death.
        There is nothing after death
        but nothing
        and that's all right with me.

 It made good scientific sense,
 nailed to the cathedral door
 of her religious childhood.

 And when her husband died
 a few years later
 pinned against eternity
 sagged in the middle
 and in its folds
 sweet disbelief surprised her
 and the hope
 she hadn't seen the last of him yet.
-- Barbara Pescan
        from "Morning Watch"

I ran across this poem while looking for something for a morning
service, and it just HIT me so hard. It completely captures (for me,
at any rate) the ambivalence of humanism.

John Beaty

[Martin adds]

I am reminded, too, of the last verse of Clough's "There is no God" (Poem #69):

    And almost everyone when age,
      Disease, or sorrows strike him,
    Inclines to think there is a God,
      Or something very like Him.

though Pescan's tone is a lot more sympathetic than Clough's is.

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