Thoughts of death
Crowd over my happiness
Like dark clouds
Over the silver sickle of the moon
Death comes to some
Like a grizzled gangster
Clubbing in the night;
Like an obstinate captain
Steadily besieging barriers;
To some like a brown adder
Lurking in violet-speckled underbrush;
Like a gentle nurse
Taking their toys and stroking their hot brows.
Death will come to you, I think,
Like an old shrewd gardener
Culling his rarest blossom . . . .
Sterling A. Brown, The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown, ed. Michael S. Harper, HarperCollins Publishers, 1980.