02/26/2014 04:45 pm ET Updated Apr 28, 2014


An old friend died several years ago. At the time, I wrote this poem. I don't know why but I still can't delete his phone number from my contact list. Oh, to do so would seem so final, but I also still feel in contact with him.


My friend has died and the grass is
growing as I watch the logs dry and
crack in the garage. Yesterday, I saw a
lone worm leave the heartwood as if
waiting till it was safe. I wonder what
lone secret left Steve's heart after he
died before the medics arrived. Is it
hiding in his closet or in our grief?
Is this the relentless, resilient way,
that what survives moves from one
carrier to the next? There are buds
on the maple though it is October.
Even wet concrete seems beautiful.
If I knew the question, I'd ask it
of everyone.

A Question to Walk With: What is the one question you would want to ask of everyone? During the next week, ask this question of one trusted friend.

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.