The Living Lay it To Heart

In that spring there were three of them—
young men, foolish as they all are.

Two went the common way, drunk
in the front seat of a car.  The only

consolation to any of us was that
they hadn’t killed anybody else,

just hit a tree or run off the road,
coming to a dull thudding stop.

The third, more absurd; he’d dropped
his phone from a train platform in

the dark, and climbed down to
find it.  You can imagine how

that ended, but he couldn’t,
they can’t when they’re that age.

He might have been laughing as he
went, doing it on a dare, for the thrill.

You wonder what to say to the
families when you pass the cemetery.

We, the ones who don’t need it,
who know better, get all the learning

there is to be had from such messes;
we, the living, lay it to heart,

while ours are still beating.

Con Chapman's poetry has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Panoplyzine, Mulberry Fork Review, Bliss, Light, Literary Dilettantes, Spitball, Scene & Heard and Ariel Chart, among other publications. He is the author of a collection of light verse, The Girl With the Cullender on Her Head and Other Wayward Women, and poetry is kind of important, a collection of humor about poets.  He placed second in Molotov Cocktail’s 2018 Shadow Award contest for his prose poem "The Madwoman Who Called on My Wedding Day."