by Paul Hooker
Norma Porter Hooker 12 April 1925 - 5 August 2021 Requiescat in pace Sometimes death is a thief who in dark of night gains entry through the soul’s unlocked windows and steals that most precious of all treasure— breath. Or else a pickpocket in a surging crowd who with deftest sleight of hand snatches a wallet full of hope and expectation, dissolves into the teeming throng, and disappears. Sometimes death is an enemy whose ruthless forces, blades in sunlight glinting, banners waving to declare the fight, deny the living even one more day, one hour, of life. Or else a judge, benched in darkling robes and somber, grim-faced and dispassionate, pronouncing sentence upon one standing in the well, innocent or guilty, who comes to die. But not today. Today death is a faithful, trusted servant late on his quotidian rounds, and hastening to match his quota of souls who with overdue accounts must wait, arms akimbo, foot tapping, for promised rest. Better still, today death is a friend, long lost and long loved if also long delayed, who arriving, taps quiet at the door to make us turn and, with warming smiles, greet her as she enters, just in time.