Thomas Lynch's Walking Papers
director-would be more than enough to occupy most of us for a lifetime, Lynch has made a second-acclaimed American writer of poems, stories, and essays-from the stuff of the first.
The title poem of this collection is addressed to a friend who might be a bit overly worried about the minutiae of his health. The poet-who as a funeral director has a certain authority on matters concerning death-reminds his friend that
something's going to get you in the end.
The numbers are fairly convincing on this,
hovering, as they do, around a hundred
percent. We die. And more's the pity.
Same for the goose as for the gander, true
for both saints and sinners, fit and fat.
We get our dose of days and after that
we get whatever is or isn't next:
heaven, remembered, a kick in the ass,
a place in a frame on some grandkid's piano,
a grave, a tomb, the fire, our ashes scattered,
the scavenging birds, the deep, nirvana-
sure, one oblivion's good as another.