If You Must Die, 2024 by Sami McKay

If You Must Die, 2024 is a poem inspired by a period of prolonged loss. Witnessing age, sickness, and mental health take its toll on loved ones, this piece fully encapsulates the wishes we have for our people in their final moments. Inspired closely by the weeks leading up to the loss of one of my parents, this piece is a cry for mercy, a hope for the transcendence of pain, and the graceful transition from life into death.

Check out the animated version below :)


If you must die

let it be the same way the morning comes while you are sleeping.

The dew planting itself atop the grass

—the grass 

atop the food we offer.

The way the birds start singing

as if they never stopped

—a call that merely halted for a moment

and restarts without notice.


If you must die

I hope it will be like the wind chimes gently rocked

inside the wind.

Music, like love, is made only in a state of relation.

we ring, we ring, we ring.

and like all things

we find moments to begin

and moments to end.

Both of their own grief and inconvenience 

—like rain.


And if you must die I hope it is like the rain.

Where it nourishes the loss of sun 

and it sits atop the grass

—the grass

atop the soil of our salvation.

Where we will be

and you will meet me

if you must die.

Leave a comment