Poem: If you Knew

by Joanne Jagoda

If you Knew

(Dedicated to Pat)


If you knew that your time was up

that your ticket was punched

that the Angel of Death was hovering

bobbling his leg, impatient

and had your name

clutched in his hand on a post-it


If you knew that your bucket list

would never be written

much less fulfilled

and you would be dead in a week

from something that would hit you

from out of nowhere


If you knew that the finest medical brains

couldn't fix you

despite their best efforts

and even a torrent of  prayers

reaching to the crests of the heavens

with eleventh hour negotiations

and hard bargains made with God

would be to no avail


If you knew

that after everything

you only had

just that one week

those seven short days


Would you hurl your i-Phone

savor the sunlight on your face

eat full fat Hagen Daz 

dance in the kitchen to “Unchained Melody

hold your loved ones tightly

and give them a punch list


meant to endure for the rest of their lives

starting with what colors they should avoid

and to not forget thank you notes

and to send RSVP's promptly

and to bring a hostess gift

and to promise to be there

and forgive each other no matter what


Would you demand your favorite roses

in that certain shade of  lilac


Would you go in the shower

with all your clothes 

and scream as the water courses over you

why me God

how could this have happened

and couldn't you have waited

until I held my first grandchild


Or would you just lay back

and accept this decree

with your usual grace and aplomb

and calm resignation

and say your good byes

and give your last kisses

and close your eyes

and welcome the good light.