Live What’s Left

“we die three times: once from the mother,
once from the father, and once
from ourselves.”

            from “Everyone Born in 1926” by John Woods

One down, two to go.
It’s a fact
we have to come to terms with
to revel in that cardinal on the fencerow,
that heron standing alone
on one leg in the snow. Our backs
get closer to the wall
every day. If we hope to go out
with a miracle or two stacked
in our favor, we need to hone
our vision and become enthralled
with the mist rising off the snow, that red sky,
those stars shouting our names from above.

First, we accept and then ignore the fall
and then sing like the world is ours to own.


David James has published three books and six chapbooks of poetry. More than thirty of his one-act plays have been produced; James teaches at Oakland Community College.

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