Skip to main content

When I Fall: A Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.

What Do We Really Know for Certain?


Sometimes I contemplate death. When I do, my mind often runs to that scene in the film, What About Bob, when Sigmund, Dr. Leo Marvin's son, comes to terms with life and says...Why don't I just let you watch the clip? It's 58 seconds of child actor, Charlie Korsmo, giving it his all.

(58 Seconds) Siggy Marvin Talks About Death in the Film, What About Bob

Death, the Afterlife, and Certainty

Yes, I am beginning this article with a little humor. My thoughts from here on are dead serious. No one really knows what comes after death. Some are certain they know whether by direct revelation or by indirect revelation contained in a book.

But we really don't know. I will keep searching with you. It would be my great joy to walk with you one day on the other side. But that is not for us to decide, is it?

Seven Spanish Angels: Ray Charles and Willie Nelson

Author's Note

I'm introducing my poem about death with this song because it highlights how easily and quickly life can end. Here is a synopsis of the lyrics which I have borrowed from the Wikipedia article about the song.

The song is about an outlaw and his lover who are trying to outrun a posse sent to return them to Texas. When they are cornered, they decide to fight the approaching lawmen. Before the final gunfight, the two embrace, speaking of their belief that God will spare them. The gunfight then commences, with the outlaw firing upon the posse. He is immediately shot and killed, prompting his distraught lover to pick up his rifle. She tearfully prays, "Father, please forgive me; I can't make it without my man." She deliberately points the empty weapon at the lawmen and is then shot dead. After each death, the angels gather to pray for the lovers. This is followed by "thunder from the throne" and the angels "taking another angel home"

Listen to Willie's gracious introduction. A week earlier, the new song had been pitched to him. He accepted and made plans for recording. A record producer heard the demo and suggested Ray Charles do it. When he discovered that Willie was already working on it, he recommended a duet between Willie and Ray. The two performers agreed. The song was recorded as a duet and released in November of 1984. It won the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year.

Here are a few rambling words of my own about the end of life which we all face. The subject begs humility because we really know so little.


When I Fall

Where will I fall?


At whose hand?




My own?

Unknown future







Almighty God


Empty void?




For sure.

So I proceed


Open arms.




My cup.


Poll: Certainty About Life After Death

© 2019 Chris Mills

Related Articles