I Tasted Death




I tasted death
on the lips of the woman who bore me.
I kissed her cheek.
I held her hand.
I took the candy from her very last breath.
It was sweet and I was surprised.
I sang her to The Gates that night
on the lyric of a song she taught me
long before she forgot my name.


There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole.
There is a balm in Gilead
to heal the sin-sick soul.


She is standing by the Rock with her feet in the River,
charming that Gate Keeper with her jokes
and whistling for Eula Mae.
They watch Jeopardy
and know all the answers.
She spins her Wheel of Fortune
and Ed McMahon waits,
with a check made payable in her name.