The Renegade

Author: Samuel Hazo '49

As for life after death?

  believe, but no one really
                All those who claim
  they know equate belief
  and knowledge for psychiatric,
  not spiritual reasons.

  find living with uncertainty 
                         Believers pray
  in gratitude, but doubts persist
  even with the most devout.
They want to take Christ’s words
  as scrivened by his four 
  stenographers and say amen.
Death is the problem — the fact
  of death.
                       Reactions range
  from fear to love.

                                     The fearful
  die living.
                      Even when those
  most loved are taken, lovers	
  discover that love buries death.
The dead survive as presences
  in dreams or thoughts that mock
  whatever passes for resting
  in peace.					          
                      After thirty-three
  years of breath and three days
  of death, the Messiah rose
  to resume living with those
  He loved.
                         Compared with that,
  who needs theology or ritual
  for reassurance?											
                                   What else is faith
  but trusting that loves once known
  will be known forever?							           
                                   What’s truer
  for God or each of us
  than unions resurrected as reunions?
There is no otherwise. 


Sam Hazo '49, the author of numerous books of poetry, essays and fiction, taught at Duquesne University for more than four decades and was the founder and longtime director of the International Poetry Forum.