Lisa Barnett: “What Happens After You Die”


So much of life happens after you die;
it just proceeds without you. Wakes and wars
alike somehow soldier on—even chores
you’d think were done refuse to say goodbye.
For you, it’s peaceful now you’ve closed the books
but up here, life keeps churning on. It looks
so simple once you’ve gone; the stakes so low—
no politics or family drama, no
squabbles left to settle. You might retain
some interest in the twists and turns of plot
the living make, but even that will wane
as what you knew of life is soon forgot.
The ones you leave behind will muddle through,
and if you’re lucky, sometimes think of you.

Lisa Barnett’s poems have appeared in Hudson Review, Measure, Orchards Poetry Journal, Poetry, Snakeskin, Valparaiso Poetry Review, the anthologies Sonnets: 150 Contemporary Sonnets and Extreme Sonnets, and elsewhere. She is a three-time Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award finalist and is the author of the chapbook, Love Recidivus, published by Finishing Line Press.

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