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Last Will

ISSUE:  Summer 1985

when I am ash
read by the light of the fire
that consumes me
this document
whose subject is love.

I want to leave you everything: my life
divided into so many parts
there are enough to go around; the world
from this window: weather and a tree
which bequeaths
all of its leaves each year.

Today the lawyer plans
for your descendants,
telling a story
of generations
that seems to come true
even as he speaks.

My books will fill
your children’s shelves,
my small enameled spoons
invade their drawers. It is
the only way I know, so far,
to haunt.

Let me be a guest
at my own funeral
and at the reading of my will.
You I’ll reward first
for the moments of your births,
those three brief instants
when I understood my life.

But wisdom bends as light does
around the objects it touches.
The only legacy you need was left
by accident long ago:
a secret in the genes.
The rest is small change.


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