in the end

when these hands
rest together still
blanched as paper
beneath poised pen
when these feet
have rounded
every blessed bend
and are raised in repose
when I am no longer
quiet with potential
but only quiet
tongue held by the time
no longer ticking
through my veins
when thoughts are final
no longer fleeting
when words
no longer scurry
to the page
and the notes
no longer sound
the limitless walls
of beautiful minds
let them at least say
something lovely
I have left
be it the blaze
of a blinding sun
or a whisper
against the dark
in the end
let beauty
lie behind

© Sarah Whiteley

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common courtesy

is it too much to ask
Yesterday to wipe its feet
at the door before entering
or Time to hang its
shadowy coat upon the hook
on the back of my door
I don’t much care for the traces
tracked across the floor
or the dark reminders draped
over the back of my chair
so if you please,
show a little common courtesy
and Tomorrow, when you ring the bell
a warming gift, perhaps merlot,
would not be remiss
Death, I do apologize,
your invite must have been
misplaced in the mail

© Sarah Whiteley

untitled

crow night’s star-dusted feathers
drape her blue-black whisperings
covering over the green of gloaming
in the absence of light
I fall to forgetting
eyes tight-closed against
the possibility of loss
feather-tipped unknowing
brushes away the dust of hope
nothing gold can stay?
then I pray in the wake
of crow night’s flight
as she drags her wings across the sky
let me be dark-tarnished
by my lust for living, love of breath,
my over-attachment to my own skin
and how its pores open
to every dream, every wish imagined
when it lies against his
let me not be cold sparkling
as the stars tucked into the down
of crow night’s breast
but soft, quiet, unshining me
let me not fade with the stars at dawn
but breathing, linger a while longer
a dim Venus pressed against my love
eyes wide open
with the possibility of tomorrow

© Sarah Whiteley

untitled

no one expects
to have their life’s clock
ripped from them
by sterilized men
with sterilized smiles
the thin hands mercilessly
pushed forward
and around, around
around, around
stop!
how many years are now lost
to that single fingered motion
of dancing the black whiskers
past minutes and seconds to the right,
down, back up, and right again
but oh, so very wrong
it’s wrong that such thin little hands
can dissolve those plans
you so carefully plotted
as sterilized men
with sterilized smiles
leave you in sterilized rooms
to ponder what time
they’ve allotted

© Sarah Whiteley

watching trees

for three days now
I’ve watched the trees
searching for peace
between the leaves
for three days now
two weeping birches
danced with the rain
the fresh-leafed maple
bent beneath the wind
and a cluster of evergreens
ran in dreams with the night
without waking the sparrows
tucked into tufts of green
for three days now
I’ve watched the trees
looking for peace,
for answers, release
and am now persuaded
I am among the smallest
of all living things
for the trees
have never watched me

© Sarah Whiteley

mortality knocking

those unbidden moments
when mortality creeps in
and knocks with gray fingers
peeling back the edges of life
shrink not
shirk not
embrace the reminder
each breath we expel
has left us forever
each breath we take in
is ours for only a time
but while this heart beats
I love you
and that has meaning
and if that beat ceases
I loved you
and that has meant everything

© Sarah Whiteley