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Poetry

When a Great Person Dies

When a righteous person dies,

grown men sob like frightened babies.

 

When a virtuous person dies,

great mobs of mourners crowd around the casket,

as if they want to be buried with him.

 

When a great person dies,

eloquent eulogies are delivered

while entire nations watch and weep.

We say things like,

“He was an example for us all,”

and “This man’s name will live forever.”

(or until the weathered stone tablet yields its noble engraving,

whichever comes first)

 

When a person dies who has surrendered

every aspect of herself to the Divine One,

the world takes note

as much as we notice the air we breathe.

 

Those whose lives she touched say to themselves,

“This continent is the lesser,

But the ocean has gained.”

 

Her closest friends and loved ones say nothing,

and smile as someone who watches the sun set,

for what goes down, they know,

must come up.

About Waldo Noesta

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