Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard. It seems to me most strange that men should fear. The valiant never taste of death but once, Shakespeare wrote, but he was wrong, It’s not just cowards with more deaths than one. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, most awful was the day my mother said she no longer knew the name she gave me. It seems to me most strange that men should fear to die of accident or heart attack. Much worse, it seems to me, to die as Mother did, piece by piece. NOTE: The first four lines are from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.
Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair of Poets and Patrons of Chicago and a past President of the Illinois State Poetry Society, has published numerous poems in anthologies, webzines, and print publications. She has published two books of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant (RWG Press) and Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick (Kelsay Books). Her current projects are a book of poems riffing off science facts and theories, and a collection of poems playing with Shakespeare’s words. Wilda’s grandchildren say she lives in a library. Her poetry blog at wildamorris.blogspot.com features a monthly poetry contest.