It read, “The dead know nothing the living won’t find out sooner or later.”
And you sure don’t envy them, she thought, for having earned that one leg up.
She knew, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” meant with these here, it was definitely over.
Did he believe, she wondered, you never know when, so you keep doing what you can?
Right up until that moment when you can’t do it anymore, and I see you here?
A doctor with an odd outlook, one who’d work here, but true, who knew better,
seeing them come rolling in like cans of pineapple to be palletized at Dole,
a kind of sacred production line he ministered over every working day of his life.
Most, of course, wouldn’t think of him as a physician, coroners dealing only with the dead,
but he’d gone to med school, could hear your heart with a stethoscope, read your X-ray.
When it’s corpse after corpse, though, you can’t treat them and maybe they’ll get better.
Yes, it took a special person to certify the dead, assisting them in their passage over.
Still, she thought it an odd plaque to have on the wall in his tiny cubicle off the main lab.
She didn’t care for cleaning this basement, especially when she might overhear him crying.