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.