So Much Like Now

When you find this grave in the ragged ground,
remember me to Winter.

So much like now, it was cold the day I died:
cold when a carriage rattled by,
cold in bright Missouri,
cold in Kansas and Ohio,
cold on the shores of Maine,
cold in Carolina,
cold in Wyoming and Montana,
cold upon the plain,
cold behind the woodshed,
cold inside the barn,
cold in the bright-red schoolhouse,
cold in the white-washed church,
cold in the corner store,
cold on the warehouse floor,
cold in the mines and mills,
cold on the water, cold in the factories,
cold on the rails, cold in the hills.

So much like now, it was cold the day I died:
cold in my bones,
cold inside my collar,
cold in my lungs and fingers,
cold inside my skull,
cold on the marble stone,
cold where good men
walked and talked
and smoked and listened,
cold where liars cheated
and thieves spat upon the ground,
cold at noon and in the star-filled evening,
cold where laughter waited
and grew old in the dance,
cold upon the cross,
cold at the gates of Hell,
cold when the lot was drawn,
cold when my name was called.

So much like now, it was cold the day I died:
cold but not unforgiven,
cold with beauty unrelenting,
cold with magic all around.

December 12, 2005

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