Phrases for the end are throwaway.
‘Drop off your twig.’
I quite like that –
cock an eye at heaven in mid-song
and just let go,
get picked up by one stiff claw
for the compost bin.
‘Kick the bucket’ is a different thing.
My bucket brims
with all I’ve gathered in.
Leaves and the sun,
a dog to lean on when first vertical
and that dizzy moment of knowing,
In my bucket rests the rage of sex
and the long work of children
then the survival that goes on alone,
enlivened by accumulated stuff
to work on and play with.
Kick the bucket?
An absurd idea.
I defend my bucket
to the death.