Four Facts To Use In An Obituary

He was never as fond of ocean
as he was of desert, perhaps because
he was born near the former
and didn’t see the latter until
he’d already learned what it meant
to long for escape. After that, 
he imagined joy as a dry place
that bloomed seldom but riotously.

He frequently had a certain look — 
a barely downturned face, 
sharply raised eyes and brows,
neutralized mouth — a look that said
he was judging you; not necessarily
in a moral way; more like assessing
the level of concern
he should allow for you
should your contact continue.

When he loved someone
as fiercely as he could, 
he could not love himself 
equally fiercely
at the same time.
He did not love many that way
but neither did his self-love
ever rise to such a level
that he loved himself much 
at all in the times
between those strong loves.

Upon his death, 
a white bird rose from 
the peak of his roof and
flew to the nearest ocean
to apologize. A brown bird
rose from a bush in the backyard
and flew to the closest desert
to apologize. A red bird 
rose from pavement outside
and flew to each lover in turn 
to apologize. A black bird
landed on an oak in the front yard,
turned its head down, raised its eyes,
and began the hard judging 
of the life that had just ended.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Four Facts To Use In An Obituary

  • Eileen

    “that bloomed seldom, but riotously.” a beauty rare enough to be fully appreciated…………..yes….. surprised and overcome by the joy of beauty

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