Knowing When


Some go early — lucky them,
The eulogies are frightful;
Some expire, cherchez la femme,
With relatives grown spiteful.
Some go gently, two by two,
Simpatico forever,
Some cling on, like me and you,
Through any kind of weather.
Some go screaming in the dark
With demons dancing madly,
Some go witty, some go stark,
The damaged goods go gladly.
Some go sudden, swept away
Fiddling, fey, like Neros,
Some defiant, stags at bay,
The way of unsung heroes.
Some, like cats, creep out alone
To join their feral brothers.
Some are gone before they’re grown
To break the hearts of mothers.
Some go vicious, some go wise,
The saddest like a robot,
The best with starlight in their eyes —
Though where they go, I know not.