Vincent O'Connor

When I Die

Vincent O'Connor
When I Die

when I die
bears will still go through
cabins when
nobody is home
and ducks in circling flight will still come and drowse on warm sand
silhouetted in the long shadows of sunset

when I die
there will still be smells of damp hay
cattle lazy under a summer sky
and cars will still swish on interstates
under moonlight fragmented by
broken clouds

when I die
what-ifs and might-have-beens
will still dally in shadows
of aged thoughts
and dreams will still be robbed
of their completion

when I die
there will still be dances and climaxes
of youth radiant in immortality
and crystal glasses will still toast
ringing resonant
over green wine bottles and
red lobster shells

when I die
there will be mourning
then forgetfulness
but I will do fine without a name
letting a thousand winds blow
to cover the tracks
I left while living

© 2009 by Vincent O’Connor. All rights reserved.
First published in the Fall 2009 issue of Main Channel Voices.
Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash