Easy to think of death these days
while brewing tea, reading the newspapers,

walking up a long hill. Years ago,
it never would have occurred to me

to obsess over the approaching end,
a cold blade on an innocent neck.

Depressing, friends would say,
like watching a sad film at the cinema

alone with one's popcorn.
Intimate morbidity has crept

into the room where the fireplace
grows cold, constellations hover

over chimneys, a book lies open
face down on the night-table.

On the hard ground outside,
spent tulips shed crimson skins,

still juicy for a time,
even without their heads.

In the kitchen, a half-filled kettle,
a lifted latch on the door.