My Will

My Will

Son, my will,
albeit premature
when the palm readers
divine
for me an extended
life line.

Besides who knows what
worth bequeathing
I could acquire
before the life line
inches to the darker side
of my hand.

But, for a start,
the gift of song,
this sweet immediate source
of release was not given me
so I leave it for you in the hope
that God takes hints.

Then the right to call
all older than you
Miss, mister or mistress
in the layered love of our
simplest ways,
eat each day's salt and bread
with praise,
and may you never know hungry.
And books,
I mean the love of them.

May you like me earn good
friends
but just to be sure,
love books.
When bindings fall apart
they can be fixed
you will find
that is not always so
with friendships.

And no gold.
Too many die/kill for it
besides its face is too bold.
This observation is the last
I give:
most times assume
a patina a shade subdued
so when you bloom they
will value it.


'My Will' from I am Becoming My Mother (New Beacon, 1986), © Lorna Goodison 1986, used by permission of the author and New Beacon Books.

Books & cds by Lorna Goodison