It is always unavailing, that final glance,
His eyes gone large with pain,
His body hung between the sticks of itself:
Death, the companion of many days,
Has shaken his head at us all.
But there are those who understand this matterMore fully than I,
Who have outstared that unwelcome visitor,
The false thrills and fears he occasions,
And who watch the light simply through an open window.
I have seen a friend depart through a sudden door,In one moment to become memory
And an unfilled space;
But so, also, Plotinus departed in an empty room,
Muttering his credo as he became the light.
====================© October 1980