Blog Post / fall 2015 / Featured / Issues / Poetry 2015 / Uncategorized

When The Lights Go Out—Ron McFarland

Some days you let yourself think what it might be like,

how you might just be standing there

on the corner of Third and Main not thinking about

anything in particular

and you’d just keel over.

Maybe there’d be just a split second of being dizzy,

lightheaded, a sudden familiar fragrance,

and that would be it.

You would not even feel your head

smack the sidewalk where some kid scrawled Bill plus

Sara in the wet cement, not even hear your glasses crack.


It wouldn’t have to be that way.

Remember when you were a kid

and you died a dozen different deaths,

every one of them

glorious, heroic,

girl or boy you somehow made your life

matter there at the last.

Even your sworn

enemies grieved at your great lugubrious funeral.

Your mournful parents wished they’d treated you better.

Your big brother and your mean cousin wept unabashedly.


In later life, as a promising young adult

full of purpose and broad prospects,

you saw yourself quite old

and dying peacefully

surrounded by rapt admiration, deeply respected.

Someone who’d broken your heart turned from your

heavily decorated grave and wept unashamedly.


But these days you take yourself more seriously,

and this notion of just quite suddenly

keeling over seems very appealing.

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