The soul takes its shadow with it
when it separates from the body.
The body must watch both of them leave.
The body cannot, for the life of it, call them back.
All the body can do is watch, helplessly.
This is why the eyes are open at death.
Meanwhile, the dead body feels someone
close their eyes like a window shade,
but it wants to continue to see the soul
climb its silver thread, carrying its shadow.
This is why the dead never see
the next world. And the shadow
goes to where it is extreme light all the time.
This world, it is only smoke.
We just don’t see it that way.
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He was nominated for 11 Pushcart and 11 Best of the Net awards. He provided his hands-on workshop “How to Make Origami Haiku Jumping Frogs” at the 2012 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Winner of the 2012 Big River Poetry Review’s William K. Hathaway Award; co-winner of the 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; winner of the 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest; winner of the 2014 Broadsided award; winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest.