To the Person Who Washes My Body at Death

Fearless of odors and toes, oh most intimate stranger!
I thought of you once, and the service of kindness you chose.

You could be bathing a rose-bodied baby or cleaning
a wound in the noon of a life,
but you cradle my sunk twilight flesh.

Ever-arising compassion! Mysterious sap in
humanity’s stem! Gratitude offers itself again.

First published in Writer’s Forum

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