I Will Go On Singing

I will go on singing, even after death.

My voice will issue
from mounds of trash
and common stone,
from trees and fields
and empty rooms,
from sidewalks,
and library shelves.

Even the birds will approve,
and weary man lay down his arms
to embrace the earth again.

If anyone should lose faith,
I will lift him up with my hands,
with my heart and mind.

I will wait beside his bed,
tend his fevers and his sores,
keep him clean and warm,
rejoice when he returns.

He will be alone
in the great good way
that we are all alone,
but not forgotten.

Then he too shall sing,
and he shall go on singing,
even after death.

Nothing will stop him, or me:
no philosophy, church,
government, or creed,
no yoke of moral slavery,
no chains, or toil, or imagined fears.

We will sing of the moss beneath our feet
and the thorns that make us bleed.

We will sing of mothers giving birth
and the blind ache fathers feel
when a baby cries or a whistle blows.

We will remember what he knows,
then blow away the chaff
and watch the hoary ages burn.

February 28, 2006

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