“Godfather Death” by Rebecca Lehmann

Rebecca Lehmann

GODFATHER DEATH

All these different planet-options exist
in the spackled, unpacked universe.

You want to be reading Frank O’Hara.
Boom, you are, to a room full

of nursing students. None of them
has been in a car accident today.

Now that’s in medias res, like “Godfather
Death,” the Grimm Brothers’ tale

that you know is going to end poorly
because it’s called “Godfather Death.”

Death is a patient godfather, waiting
for us all to come in the side door.

Love waits in the same white room,
where anything could happen.

The walls could just turn purple.
Where is the lilac bush?

Where is the polished mahogany buffet?
Where is the next cautionary tale,

set in the center of a dark woods?
Children, don’t go out there. A monster

is guarding a pile of human hands.

from Rattle #46, Winter 2014

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Rebecca Lehmann: “I started writing poetry in high school, after falling in love with Emily Dickinson’s verse. Now, many years later (more than I care to admit), poetry is still the only way I can imagine to process all of life’s beauty, brutality, joy, sorrow, coincidence and absurdity.” (website)