Death was omnipresent in my childhood.
It had claimed many dear ones, my dog,
but it took Catherine and Heathcliff on the Yorkshire moors
to make me ponder over the metaphysical core
of such inevitability that most people abhor.
Emily Dickinson drove with Death in a carriage
but in an oven Sylvia Plath held her rendezvous.
Virginia Woolf embraced it with a pile of stones,
and Cathars gladly went into fire to defend their cause.
My own battle with death started when I was seven years old.
A fever devoured my brain cells and temperatures soared,
but I never felt comfortably numb as in Pink Floyd’s.
I only remember crawling on four
like a half-anaesthetized worm.
Now I daily think of death as an invisible boat
that will ferry me across the mud
to the other side of the cosmic road,
to a clay-free world,
where the light that is cloaked with so much fog
will be released from this bundle of bones.
Dr. Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various magazines.