While Scrubbing the Shower I Contemplate Death

Where will I be when the last door closes?
Burning together with all of my friends
or planted alone, next to the roses?

It would help to know the means of our ends
felled by heredity, hit by a bus
enough in advance to make our amends.

Something, perhaps, a bit more glamorous
then killed by mold or Mr. Clean.
I also want to be the first of us

sorry to leave, but avoiding the scenes
of family grief and subsequent greed.
I prefer not to know their ways or means

of sorting my treasures with ugly speed
no one concerned what my roses may need.


Photography © James Conant

Photography © James Conant


Denise Clemons spent the first twenty years of her career as an executive in the technology industry before escaping the corporate world to devote her energies to the non-profit arena. Denise writes the weekly food column for the Cape Gazette newspaper and has published fiction, non-fiction and poetry in journals, chapbooks and anthologies.

James Conant is a Cambridge artist who was a primary illustrator for the online journal Spoonful.