Practicing Dead


Lying on my back, resting in bed,

quiet house,

no noise to be heard

but the calmness,

for a morose moment, I think of what

being dead would be like,

so I cross my arms over my chest.

'No...that's not right' I say aloud,

'they don't do that anymore,'

as I entwine my fingers together

in a grasp and place them over my abdomen.


That's more like it.

I close my eyes in the sight of death,

seeing nothing.

I imagine the feel of crushed, soft velvet

hugging my chilled body,

which is cloaked in a brand new outfit

I never saw.

(probably one I wouldn't choose for myself)

An outfit I'll only wear once...


I feel the light weight of smooth,

cool pearls lying against my icy skin.

(funny, I don't like or wear pearls...

don't even own any)

I smell the fragrance of flowers

around me.

Roses, lilys, gladiolas and such.

(I hope its Springtime...I love lilacs the most)

I hear the sound of funeral parlor music

playing in the background,

that solomn, depressing, low organ music.

(I'd rather have my favorite country music


I watch,

from somewhere beyond,

the mourners...

cloudy images, crying,

remembering, grieving.

('Don't,' I whisper, through the curtain

of life and death,

'I am at peace, there's no more pain,

I'm with family that went before.')

Then the cloudy images clear

and I see the faces of my husband,

my children,

tears, streaming down their cheeks,

pain, etched in their expressions.


I open my eyes, unclasp my hands,

sit upright in bed with a jolt,

shake off the morbid thoughts and images

and say out loud,

shattering the calmness of the empty house,

'NO!!! Don't cry! Don't grieve!

I'm here!

I was only practicing dead.'

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Bridget O'Brien's picture

That was a really good poem I felt like I was there hearing it, seeing it, and feeling