Memorial Day III: Something about Life
“Live. Just live.”
-Yuri in Doctor Zhivago
The plane lifted, and the cheering was wild
And then pretty quickly the pilot said
“We are now clear of Vietnamese
Territorial waters.” There was joy,
Even wilder cheering for most, and quiet
Joy for a few. For one, Karamazov
To hand, peace, and infinite gratitude.
“I’m alive,” he said to himself and to God,
“Alive. I will live, after all.” To read, to write,
Simply to live. Not for revolution,
Whose smoke poisons the air, not for the war,
Not to withdraw into that crippling self-pity
Which is the most evil lotus of all,
But to live. To read, to write.
But death does come,
Then on the Vam Co Tay, or now in bed,
Or bleeding in a frozen February ditch;
Death comes, scorning our frail, feeble, failing flesh,
But silent then at the edge of the grave,
For all graves will be empty, not in the end,
But in the very beginning of all.