Not in a Hurry

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me
now and at the hour of my death”

Which can’t be too far off.
I’m already three-fourths of a century old.
My father was dead at 69; mom at 70.
Been through the windshield of a car,
had a close encounter with an RPG,
smoked cigarettes for thirty years,
drove drunk for more than fifty.
Did my share of street drugs, too:
speed, acid, coke, and marijuana.

I’ve done what I can to prepare.
I’ve made a Will, and a list of things
to be done and people to contact
once I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil.
I own a quiet piece of the pinelands
in southern New Jersey, arranged
in advance to be wrapped in a sheet
and put in the ground, food for worms.
Now it’s just a matter of hanging around.

Which is okay by me, at least as long
as I have all my wits, and can go for a walk
now and then. I still love sunsets and trees
and kids playing games, and my wife
and my daughter and, well, the list
goes on and on. I’m in no hurry to go.
Just today, I’m off to the Amish Market
for my monthly lunch with two old friends.
Jack’s turn to pay.

W.D. Ehrhart’s most recent collections are Thank You for Your Service: Collected Poems(McFarland, 2019) and Wolves in Winter(Between Shadows Press, 2021).  His website is