Now he just lies there ...

On Leo's death, 1988

O God ...

Now he just lies still, expressionless, untouchable, cold blue;
No longer will we experience his smile, his words, his strife;
His conscience is gone from conscience, his life returned to life;
His ashes quietly in New England soil will lie subdued.

She remains now empty, lonely, and frightened, life unglued;
From a life together, facing unwanted change alone,
Where familiar places painful now that his presence is gone.
This seems death: infinitude shattering our finitude.

Change to change, unchanging change, out of hand -- so we feel dead;
But resisting death, we resist life and so Death prevails:
Our society made a morgue of violence and dread,
Embalmed in self-saving power, deaf to the people's wails.

but let suffering service to the suffering toll the death of Death
And ring in new life, fullness of union, and Your own breath.

Amen.

©1988, John A. Mills