Monday, February 25, 2013

Robert Friend: "The Last Year"

This is the last year.
There will be no other,
but heartless nature
seemingly relents.
Never has a winter sun
spilled so much light,
never have so many flowers
dared such early bloom.
The air is brilliant, sharp.
Never have I taken
such long, long breaths.

Written after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

"The Last Year" by Robert Friend, from Dancing with a Tiger: Poems 1941-1998, edited by Edward Field, 2003. © Jean Shapiro Cantu.

Image: "Breath of Life," acrylic painting with charcoal overlay by Dawn Thibodeaux, 1998 (originally black and white).


  1. Beautiful, but sad too, that the dying and already dead have to remind those of us still living that life is a beautiful thing. How awful of us...

  2. This feels so visceral. Thank you as always for this collection that lives on past the end of the project.


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