“The dead we can imagine to be anything at all.”
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
He sits cross-legged in a tree
deep in concentration,
the way he would sit on the floor of his room
leaning against the bed doing homework,
composing music, talking on the phone.
His closed-mouth grin shows
he is pleased to be where he is.
No longer a skinny rail, his cheeks filled out,
his skin clear, his eyes bright.
His tree has everything – soft jazz sounds
flowing from all directions,
deep vees and pillows for sitting and reclining,
the scent of incense and flowers,
branches of books by Miller, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky
the music of Davis, Gould, Bach and Lennon,
and virtual communication to those he loves.
He needs no furniture, no bedding, no clothes, no food.
Those necessities are for worldly beings.
The passing clouds give him comfort
and the stars light his way.
Heaven takes care of him
as he imagines himself
to be anything at all.
Madeline Sharples co-authored a book about women in nontraditional professions called Blue Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (due out in 2010). More of her writing can be read at http://madeline40.blogspot.com/ and http://www.redroom.com/member/madeline40.