Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two Poems About Death

Here are two poems I wrote yesterday. Death has recently begun stalking my English classes. In the past month four of my students have claimed to have had deaths in the family. Frankly, I find it a bit odd--so odd, in fact, that I'm beginning to find it all rather amusing. Does that make me a bad person? I can't say. What I can say, though, is that any relative of any of my students ought to be on his or her guard. Apparently I am bad luck.

The poems:

Another Excuse

Forgive me
if my sympathy
is running dry—

is the fourth death
this term.

My eternal

A Teacher to His Absent Student

I can imagine you
sitting in some church
in central Kentucky

your dead grandmother
stretched out beside
the pulpit

her wrinkled face
only slightly more waxy
than it had been

in life.
Tell me, student,
what is it like

to look into
the grim grinning
face of death

and know,
bereaved, that you
have missed

my class?


  1. The excuse one makes me laugh every time!

  2. incredibly insensitive! I love them!

  3. Both are great, but I definitely like the second one better! Great humor!

  4. Oh Scott - I'm not sure what to say....