Traveling to Mars

A close friend died today
and that’s when it hit me…
not that death could claim an old friend
but that it would also find me someday.

Perhaps it will walk in the front door
pretending I have invited it in
or will just stick its foot in the door
so I cannot shut it.

Or maybe it will climb in a window
in the dark of the night like a burglar
while I am unprotected, sleeping naked,
dreaming one of those dreams
where I have just met the love of my life
even though I am in my seventies.

Waking me by placing shaving cream
in my hand, then tickling my nose
so I will wake with a start
splattering it across my face.
Or give me a charlie horse
so I will awake in pain
furiously ratcheting my foot
to divert the cramps.

Well, there’s really not much choice, is there?
As they say, when the time comes, the time comes.
Just gotta look it in the face and smile,
and let death know I appreciate the visit,
as I was feeling lonely anyway,
so many friends gone already.
That I had already made up my mind
I wasn’t going to argue or struggle.

That it will be no different than traveling to Mars
where I will find myself in an alien landscape,
red rocks, deep valleys, and ancient dry rills,
and will need to learn to quickly adapt
or die again.


Author: compasionatecritiques

Michael Eaton Bio Grew up in Littlefield TX and ran around with Waylon Jennings little brother. In high school lived and worked in a funeral home. First came to Austin in 1960 to attend UT. One year later enlisted in the Army. After serving came back to Austin and managed the Texas Theatre on the Drag. Was there when Whitman went on his killing spree from the Tower. Before completing school, decided to go to San Francisco State University. Moved there, and became a hippie living in a commune until graduation with a Masters in Creative Writing. Then came back to Austin and became partners in a stained glass studio, a business in which my eldest son is still involved in Houston. After two more children arrived, needed to make more money and became a new home salesman. Now retired. Recently have just completed conducting two poetry classes in assisted living centers for the elderly in Austin and Wimberley. I write poetry to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

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