Monday, August 10, 2015

Examination at the Womb-Door

by Ted Hughes
From his collection entitled Crow

Who owns these scrawny little feet?        Death.
Who owns this bristly scorched-looking face?        Death.
Who owns these still-working lungs?        Death.
Who owns this utility coat of muscles?        Death.
Who owns these unspeakable guts?        Death.
Who owns these questionable brains?        Death.
All this messy blood?        Death.
These minimum-efficiency eyes?        Death.
This wicked little tongue?        Death.
This occasional wakefulness?        Death.

Given, stolen, or held pending trial?
Held.

Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth?        Death.
Who owns all of space?        Death.

Who is stronger than hope?        Death.
Who is stronger than will?        Death.
Stronger than love?        Death.
Stronger than life?        Death.

But who is stronger than death?      
                                                         Me, evidently.
Pass, Crow.