Ode on Intimations of Mortality from Recollections of Older Age, or, Folding the Laundry

I am folding some clothes, some things that did not need to be removed immediately from the dryer to avoid wrinkles.

After sitting in the basket for half an hour, they are still warm, and I can’t help it:

My mind flashes to Juliet’s line in the tomb when she discovers Romeo dead and kisses him,

Trying to get a taste of the poison that killed him, but darn the luck, there’s not enough to be fatal.

She wails, “Thy lips are still warm.” She just misses the death train but wait, there’s the “friendly dagger.”

So, dagger, do thy work, and so they roll off into history. I hope they were happy but I think they were just dead.

Me, I’m older and I’m folding warm laundry, but as of this moment, with neither poison nor dagger nor dead lover at hand,  I’m still alive and warm.

At least for now.

–Dan Verner

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