The Deal

When I knew I was going to die
I walked up to the church in Easter sun,
past people shut inside
their quiet afternoons.

The church was locked
so I sat down
in the shade
and did a deal with God.

Daffodils bloomed everywhere.
Ridiculous
their born-again belief
in bulb and bud, in flower and leaf.

I walked among the graves
reading out the names
of those who’d died
before the age of sixty-five

and part of me looked down
on all of this—the vivid yellows
and sad greys, the little figure
moving through the graves.

I watched her walk back home
over the fields and stiles
clutching her wilting bunch
of promises and prayers.

Five years on (the daffodils
and symptoms both long gone)
I’m hazy on the details
of that afternoon.

Who promised what exactly?

And to whom?

Published in The Deal, HappenStance Press 2020