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Tonight You Will Shave

2009 May 9
by J. Scott Mosel

Tonight you will shave998172_spectacular_sunset_over_the_trees
and get ready for your death.

Trouble with you,
you were always afraid of dying,
always afraid to let go.

Remember, the dance floors
are vast in paradise.

The first time you heard the word
you could feel its reality
slipping away,
like the first time you heard the word
infinity
and suddenly everything
became uniquely finite.

A shame to be spoiled by words,
to let words be spoiled by shame.

Death is a nursery story.
There is a lesson at the end.

Lift your shaking arm and shave.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Lois permalink
    May 10, 2009

    Wow. You really captured something here, Scott. Isn’t it so true that the shaving and the every day tasks seem insurmountable sometimes? There is something so much bigger than all that and so tough to articulate. Yet you did. Love you.

  2. May 10, 2009

    Thank you Lois, and it’s so nice to see you on board here. This is an old poem, but newly revised, originally written in El Salvador. Joe helped cut the ending down to the essential.

  3. Leadie Jo Flowers permalink
    May 11, 2009

    From the death row inmate to the old man knowing his time has come. in almost all cases, where one knows, this would apply, even the woman. I love the way you balanced the lines and used the words against one another. Much as we do in life.

  4. May 11, 2009

    Thank you so much for the comments and for finding us. Please spread the word, drop us a line from time to time, and submit some of your own work if you can.

  5. Joel permalink
    October 9, 2009

    Mosel, you may not remember but I took your English class a few years ago (Wapakoneta). Anyways, that was a great poem, and I must thank you for making me write so many papers; now, in college, it has help tremendously. Take care and keep writing.

  6. October 9, 2009

    Thank you Joel. First off, thank you so much for the comments. Also, I made some editing changes to your language. The English teacher thing never completely goes away. I hope you are doing well. How did you find the site?

  7. Joel permalink
    October 11, 2009

    Saw you on facebook, saw you were writing poetry and clicked on the link. I remember how interesting you were in class so I imagined your poetry to be the same.

  8. July 3, 2013

    Whoever you are, you are doomed to a life of stubble. I have no brothers.

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