Someday, you’ll be like me,
Like all of us down here.
We all rot in the end.
Unless you’re thinking
or being shot into space
I hear those are “things” these days.
What year is it, anyway?
Not that time matters
forever ‘neath the ground
So there’s that – a plus, if you will.
If you will…
I know you once willed death,
and dreamt that lying eternally still
would be a world of improvement.
Trust me – it’s not.
At least not yet – for You.
You have a reality to roam…
bigger than you can imagine.
Now, my world is 84″ x 28″ x 23″
and 6 feet underground.
With so limited a vista,
no wonder I haunt you!
I’ve nothing better to do.
You. Still. Do.
Don’t wait until life is measured
in inches and feet.
Oh, I’m sorry, did I say “life”?
Life is not what we measure down here.
We hold the ruler up to what we never tried.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.