Near to Death Poem by Ward Kelley

The Nearer You Come to Death
Ward Kelley

The nearer you come to death the more
you are forced to examine the nuances
of time; you used to be one with time,
happy to swim within the current, content

to allow it to swarm over you as though
you were an eel. You even looked like
time, so fluid, and this worked well for
decades. But now . . . you are turning

into an arrow, no longer able to easily
twist to the side of any impediment,
and soon, soon, you are going to strike
your own death squarely in the heart.

When you do, time will expand and no
longer encompass your soul to squeeze
it narrow, but instead you will become
the current itself . . . who seeks the eel.