Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Until Death Do Us Part

April 7: “…For today's (Poem A Day Challenge) prompt, take the phrase "Until (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and write the poem.”

After yesterday’s ekphrastic challenge, I’m ready for anything. At first, writing an “until …” poem seemed a bit perplexing. But then I got to thinking “until” is such a future word and, as such, is laden with hope and promise—not a bad concept to run with. And what better "until" sentiment, especially after 40 years of marriage, than "Until Death Do Us Part"? So, dedicated to my wife on her birthday, here is...

Until Death Do Us Part
By Bill Kirk

Only five words.
What more is there to say?

And what’s not to like about “until”?
Imbedded in the word is the promise
Of a future unbridled and unscripted—
As for the ultimate parting?
That's got togetherness written all over it.

"Until": What better word is there
To suggest life anticipated?
And the death thing?
Well, it's just a matter of time
Until we exit planet Earth;
With luck, the longer the better.

Yet, sad to say,
Many are unwilling or unsatisfied
To allow the meaning of this simple,
Five-word contract to stand as stated.
More is always said—and done—to move the parting
Ahead and trade the sweet for sorrow.
What would be whole and unassailable
Is cast aside, deconstructed.

Why can’t we leave well enough alone?
Is not the intended fulfillment of promises made,
The very essence of human goodness?
Why is staying the course and
Reaping the richness of life interwoven,
Eschewed in favor of far lesser momentary gain?
Is this the prisoner’s dilemma all over again?

As the story goes,
In the absence of communication, trust trumps all.
Yet, lacking trust, ego attempts to claim its share,
Only to sacrifice greater gain, greater good, greater love.

Why is that?
Is reason so hard to preserve
In the face of offended sensibilities?


  1. Wow, congrats on making it to 40 years of marriage, Bill!

  2. Thanks, Christina. The longer we go, the better it gets---and the more stories there are....