Time of Death


The silence hangs expectantly between
The heavy hands that march relentlessly
Around the calm and stoic face of time
To end their journey where it first began.
I tentatively touch your icy hand
My knuckles dig across your sternum and
I violently shake you and shout yoru name
And beg your ears so deaf in life to hear.
Would I be more surprised if you replied
Becasue your stony ears had heard my call
Or more because your cold blue lips betray
The halting of the gentle hum of life?
No longer do I hear the crinkle pop
Of your tired and tissue paper lungs,
The sibilant swish sound of sclerotic
Carotids which have ceased their fickle flow.
I’ll miss the whistling soft heartsong that sang
To me alone in the pre-dawn of the
Countless times it had been broken and
The love that tuned your heartstrings to their song.
Now wide and darkling pools replace your eyes
Which once saw sunset on the battlefield
The smile of your bride, a Christmas morn
Your children cross the graduation stage.
I pull the linen sheet across your face;
A white that speaks of death, surrender, peace.
My pager screams and as I leave I pass
The nurse and say “Time of death 3:14.”

Michael McGarry, Class of 2001