Born to a family who ran a funeral home in small-town Michigan, the poet Thomas Lynch began pondering aging and death at a young age, as a child leafing through the gory pages of his father’s mortician texts.
I say clean your plate and say your prayers,
go out for a long walk after supper
and listen for the voice that sounds like you
talking to yourself, you know the one:
contrapuntal, measured to footfall, true
to your own metabolism. Listen –
inspiration, expiration, it’s all the same,
the sigh of creation and its ceasing -
whatever’s going to happen’s going to happen.