The Race

Luci Shaw is a well-known poet and author who lives in Bellingham, Washington. This poem is from Luci's new book of poetry, Angles of Light, Harold Shaw Publishers, 2000. Used by permission.

    In the end death will beat her. Death always
    wins, pulling ahead to beat us all, and
    the doctors. No matter the new technologies,
    the heroic measures, here's the prize:
    the inevitable box lid slamming down on the body
    with a wooden certainty.

    I'm right. In the hospital, death races through the door
    into her room, gets to her before the Code Blue team,
    before husband, family, chaplain, and Goodbye.
    And I'm wrong. God moves more swiftly; from being by her
    in her dying, he reaches heaven faster than light,
    pulls her in through the door.