For Murray Hunter, M.D.

Original Text: 
S. P. Zitner, The Asparagus Feast (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999): 105.
1Hair and skin one whiteness, eyelids locked,
2his stillness is the stillness of the bedclothes;
3his words, not speech but systems emptying out:
4Death is taking back the small distinctions
5between man and man and man and anything.
6Gone the treasury of signs and cures,
7the warrior ambition to better or sustain.
8Now only the heave of managed breath, the lisp
9of oxygen, and the dry tears of vigil.
10Death, why do you trivialize your own lesson
11with idiot repetition? Could you not give
12even so gallant an enemy his due:
13the coup de grace of massive stroke,
14the grudging favour of fatal accident?
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © McGill-Queen's University Press and used with its generous permission and with the
agreement of Fred Tronly, the Poet's literary executor.
Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained in writing.