When Death approaches and you see him coming near,
Tell me dear one, why do you shake and tremble with fear?

Do not judge him so quickly or else the atmosphere
Will become so cold and windy, oh so dreadfully drear!

He is quite the gentleman, handsome too, I hear,
He’ll be wearing a sweater and gloves made of the finest cashmere.

Watch him, of course, but do not fall prey to his charm and revere.
To these instructions you must closely adhere.

Let him come to you and speak with a voice so sincere,
Let his eyes travel across yours and into your soul continuously peer.

You have nothing to hide, so make it short but very clear,
Look back at him, eye to eye, and seem just as austere.

Open your mouth, and with great confidence say,
“Hello, Sir. I hope you’re having a good day.”

In reply, he will fold his hands as if to pray,
Push his fingers through his jet-black hair, and give you a small “Hey.”

He will bow down with grace and and seem so gentle, making your heart quite allay.
A simple nod and smile back, flashing his beautiful teeth, so white like papier-mâché.

You can smile back, then quickly look away.
But whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not, back away.

After that, he will either look past you and walk away,
Or choose to chat some more and implore you to stay.

He will continuously insist, persist, if I may,
And bend down close to say, “I have come from far away.”

Whatever you do, remember to stand up straight and tall, like a tree.
Do not falter in your gaze, or else, you will pay a pricey fee.

Confidence, respect, and politeness are qualities he likes to see.
He will speak to you with a deep voice, try to invoke fear and make you scream like a banshee.

But do not flinch or avert your stare, simply take a deep breath and count to three.
He will pause now to think, and realize quite unhappily,

That you have passed his test and are now ready to make an inquiry.
However, I urge you to keep your mouth shut, lest you interrupt his reality.

As he walks by you, he will say, “My apologies, I thought you were somebody to me.”
Take a deep breath, and allow yourself a smile because now your soul is undoubtedly free.

As for me, trembling in the knees, knowing I truly am nobody,
I guess I’d whisper something like “Have a good day, Mr. Death. Thank you for sparing me.”

~ PatBunny

6 thoughts on “Instructions”

  1. I love this personification of death–a kind, “polite” gentleman of sorts. That’s an intriguing thought and perspective on it; I never thought of it like that before. I also feel this poem takes on the confrontation of death, almost delineating to us to accept the circumstances and treat it as it is with honesty and respect for yourself and the matter at hand. There should be no fear or feeling afraid as that can cloud our true intentions (and it would be quite rude to Death who so graciously decided to visit).

    Fantastic piece, Pat. I throughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish. It’s amazing with figurative language and imagery. It’s very profound as well. This one will be staying in my thoughts for a bit today. I thank you for that. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So glad you liked it Lucy!

      And thank you for your analyzation, it was spot on! I really wanted to explore a different perspective, because many think of Death as evil, old, and ugly. I wanted to paint the picture that he really is a nice person, and to not pass judgement too early.

      As for the confrontation of death, yes! So many people are afraid, but I feel that if it is your time, it is your time. People die in fear, but maybe you should accept it and move on quietly, and hopefully with a smile as a positive memory.

      Again, thank you very much ♥

      Liked by 1 person

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