Don’t Count on Heaven: by Liliane Richman

“Don’t count on Heaven, or on Hell.
You’re dead. That’s it. Adieu. Farewell.” – Sherwin Stephen

In that heady perseverance of the renascent day
she worshipped every morning of the world
outlawing death and the untenable eclipse of the sun

Until midlife struck and she began entertaining
the inevitable sojourn into nothingness
dreaming its space and shape and speed
for a perfect exit out of the world

She thought without fear
comfortable as a woman who has taken
her clothes off for her lover a thousand and one nights
narrowed her selection to eight felicitous departures
each an epiphany as rich as dark chocolate

Falling in her flower bed as she pulls a last weed
Wrapped in the big screen of a movie theater
On the phone during long dissertations
with that one prized friend

In a restaurant among clatter and laughter
At a table set with sparkling china
With Merlot served in Baccarat

On an overstuffed sofa with this or that brother
and their wives reminiscing about our intertwined lives
Sipping a Proustian sentence and a cup of tea

Stretched out on thick green St. Augustine grass
Contemplating two lovely loved daughters

Making love in the crook of his bed

Copyright 2013 Liliane Richman, all rights reserved

To hear more poems by Liliane Richman, click HERE.

By bonniemcclellan

Mother, poet, american ex-pat from Texas living in Northern Italy.


  1. I like this – I recognise her thoughts and like the way you express them. And I notice the form of the poem: those stanzas growing in length one line at a time and then shrinking – it is, of course, the same arc as that of a life and is so comfortably supportive of the poem. How satisfying!

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