What I’ll Miss When I’m Dead

by Tom Bajoras

What I’ll miss when I’m dead
is walking my old dog on a cold morning,
the mixed smells of breakfast and diesel,
the cup of coffee when I get to the office.

What I’ll miss when I’m dead
is the sound of distant thunder at 3am,
the scent of a rose
in a vase by my bed.

The sweetness of lips,
a whispered name barely felt;
Holding someone
who has just learned that her best friend is gone.

The final note of Mahler’s Ninth,
and not just that note,
but every note that comes after it,
and every note of every song that’s ever been sung.

What I’ll not miss when I’m dead
are the choices that were too hard to make,
lives not lived;
the people I didn’t love enough,
the person I never was.

All of this and more, and yet
maybe I won’t really miss the cold.