Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Visitor

The old rebbe lay dying in his narrow bed,
face toward the sky.
High clouds became letters of light,
and thunder sounded on a distant hill.
The family changed his name then,
hoping to fool Death into looking elsewhere,
but the old man traced invisible letters with his breath.

Death came to him then,
not fooled by the name,
not concerned with tears.
Death came to see what the old man
had written in the air.
When he presented himself before the old man,
Death bowed low and respectfully.
"I saw your name in the sky,"
said Death, "and came calling on you,
as anyone would."

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