Dead On Time
by James Keller


Dead on time”, curious expression
as if we had a precise time or
appointment with death
but do we, when we know that
newborns rarely arrive on time
but break surface earlier
than expected or are at times,
overdue, almost reluctant arrivals.

How can the deceased be punctual
unless those in charge
of the permanent departure
put the dead one on schedule,
a sort of assembly line
as they do with cremations,
asking mourners at the service,
“Is yours eleven or eleven-thirty?”