Today the last to be allowed to die
Will say her words and give the nurse the nod.
She thinks she’s going to a better place;
Though we suspect, she hasn’t used the word.
What death is we now never hope to prove;
But pestilence and famine were just foils
To its brief mastery of humankind.
Now we are faced with many meaner trials:
What living is, we’ve none of us found out;
But now we’ve outlawed death we’ll have the chance
To design a destiny befitting
Of our race. And many centuries hence
We’ll still tell of how, once upon a time,
The last to be allowed to die were wrong
To upset our young unanimity;
To try to keep our siblinghood hamstrung.
Remember, our ancestors once looked up
Presuming they could pluck stars from the sky;
For far too long we’ve failed to question “How?”
And wasted far too many breaths on “Why?”
Live Canon poetry prize anthology 
The misery tune 
This poem was originally titled “The last to die”, and appears as such in the Live Canon anthology, which it was included in after being longlisted in their competition of that year. It was changed due to its similarity to a new poem from the same volume called “The last”. The new title was taken from Project Gilgamesh, which I read about in Yuval Noah Harari’s book “Sapiens” several years after writing the poem.