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Saturday, February 20, 2021


by Roderick Deacey

Don’t let me die a COVID death
pinned and tied by wires and tubes,
felled by fear and pain,
enduring dark visions
from potions that numb and confuse,
unable to touch the infinite,
losing the inevitable tussle for breath.

Instead, let me choose a worm’s death,
gently stilling movement
in the warm black soil.
Feeling the earth shiver and move
as it wraps me in its vast body
and cradles me
in its perpetual swing around the sun.

Or let me walk into the ancient forest
and sense the slow sap of centuries
sliding through the rough bark I lean against.
Let me mark the deep rhythm of the wood
as I feel myself slowly sink
into the tree’s heart,
to rest serene among leafy limbs.

Best of all, let me die a bird’s death,
swooping and swirling
high in a star-pricked sky
not even aware
of tumbling flesh and feathers falling
as I joyously fly on
toward that brilliant rainbow slash of dawn.

Roderick Deacey is a performing poet in the DC area, based in Frederick, MD. In normal, non-viral times, he regularly performs with his drummer/percussionist and bass-player, presenting “neo-beat” poems inspired by the Beat Poets’ poetry and jazz forays of the nineteen-fifties. His beat poetry chapbook neo-beatery ballads was published in 2019. Deacey was awarded the 2019 Frederick Arts Council Carl R. Butler Award for Literature. Crossing genres, he won the Gold Award for best lyrics in the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest held by the Songwriters Association of Washington.