the first glimpse of our demise

Anne, my wife, remembers mounting a heated and prolonged and out of character protest on the eve of her tenth birthday and her mother struggling to reassure her that an age with double digits is actually quite common. I wonder if there was more to what the nine year old was seeing.  I am trying to recall when and how I began thinking about death.


On the eve of her birthday
a protester in the kitchen
I do not want to be ten!

The mother
gained composure –

for the protester
had received a glimpse
of her own demise

A window had been opened –
to awareness,
to finite,
to death

Though we bear this ‘gift’
from the tree of knowledge
there is, still,
a nine-year old
deep within

at some point

all of us
living life
as a negotiation

martin stewart 2016


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