The Prose Poem

Gary Young

My son is learning about death, about the possibilities. His cat was killed. Then Mark died, then Ernesto. He watched the news, and saw soldiers bulldozed into the earth after battle. Down the road, a boy his age was found floating in a pond. My son says, we're careful about water, and splashes in his own warm bath. We don't want to die, he says, we want to live forever. We only just die later, he says, and nods his head. Death is comprehensible; what comes later is a week away, or two, and never arrives.