If I were to die in a flash flood in Zion
I hope you would scatter my ashes in the wash.
If I die while traveling for some foolish, academic reason,
Far away from you, bring me, keep me home.
If I languish a long time with needles and tubes
In some great exoskeleton of a hospital bed,
Take whatever remains of me to a shady grove
On the off chance that those remains arise
As revenants to haunt the woods around me.
From what I've experienced of hospitals,
I would never want to be indoors again.
It's okay if those trees are near a road.
I could watch the passing traffic, hitch
The occasional nowhere ride.
And if I should die on the actual Ghost Highway,
Take my ashes down to Slocan Lake.
Our daughter and you already allowed me
To float a part of both of you after you gave birth.
I watched that part of you two drift and sink
In the white and black winter waves.
Floating down myself, finally, I could complete
Whatever lingering molecules of our family
Life the long dark of the lake still embraced.
And if somehow I could die in your arms,
Hold me as long as they let you, as long as you can.
When you release me, I'll be gone.