Message to Ida Straus
Don’t ask me where —
send her this message
and do more than that:
get a reply.
What happens after the wave takes you off the deck chair
and the water floods your senses
freezing your skin, bones
filling up your lungs
topping them off for the long journey?
Where do you go?
How do you go?
What unexpected toll roads demand offerings?
Must you give?
Do you give?
And if so, what?
Are you totally passive as
you are guided (or perhaps coerced, kidnapped?) and taken far away
Or is there
or even left and right spin?
Does space and time collapse, dissipate, solidify
are they a porthole,
maybe along with energy,
exposed outright as some new media hoax?
Tell me Ida.
Are you in heaven?
Are you suffering for your sins or another’s?
Have you seen an afterlife, a next life — maybe two or three?
If so, is it on Earth — or in a mildly warm pool under the frozen surface
of one of those strange moons of Saturn?
Do you have two legs, seven or sixty-four?
Do you live in our universe?
Or maybe another one?
One that expanded a trillionth of one percent faster
or a billionth of one percent slower
or that has rules so different that I must allow that
getting a message to you is harder than getting one to Garcia?
Take that immediately to her
and get a reply.
Don’t ask for overtime,
or extension of in-network physician coverage.
Anything you need —
just build, figure out, make happen —
but get results
and when you come back,
all that you have learned
is the property of your employer.
And in return
you will be in line for promotion
or, depending on the whim of others, mentoring someone else.
– – Zumwalt (2011)
Copyright © 2011