The last thought will be lilac
and smooth as a stone that has forgotten
the hands that wore it so
then let it go, sent it skip, skip, skipping by
laden with descent, singing the song
all shadows sing, the song of growing
into an opening as it approached the river bed
just before the rapids, right above the falls.
After words plunge below surface
and lodge in the mud or tumble downstream
their ripples dissipating
into the banks of my skin,
when barely a wisp of memory remains,
the last thought
that breezes through my mind
will be lilac, lilac, lilac.
John Smith has published poetry in magazines such as The Literary Review, New York Quarterly, Slant, The Paterson Review, and The Journal of New Jersey Poets. For the past twenty years his poetry has been featured in New Jersey Audubon.