when i die, lord, what will my father look like?
i remember him old and wrinkled, but my brothers
remember him when he was a young fighter.
will we all see the same man?
do we get to choose how we look in heaven?
can we pick our perfect age or do we
always appear as we did when we died?
is heaven filled with geriatrics?
are whole aisles of heaven's groceries devoted to prunes?
what about the babies, then?
do they age?
do they become wise and strong
as their parents would have dreamed?
more importantly, lord, i'm wondering tonight about hell.
if we can pick the age we look, can we not
too pick the age when we were still good?
don't get me wrong, i look around this place
and i understand the need for hell
but i'm certain even little adolf was at some time
dazzled by the endlessness of a snowfall
the tiny mechanics of a frog's legs or
the sunken deliciousness of a black forest cake
(like the one my mother baked for us tonight).
surely that boy deserves a spot in heaven.
and lord, i know you are a busy man and
i don't want to hold you up any longer
i just wanted to say that you and me are much the same.
we both hold a lot of answers inside ourselves.
we gaze out into the unknown,
our bellies full.
- from the September 2005 issue of High Altitude Poetry
read more of my poems from HAP here.