Dutch Treat

Two men sit side by side and look at you.
The living man has eyes that blink and shine.
The dead man stares out blank, as dead men do.
What's not the same? What mystic spark divine
animates the live man, yet doesn't show
its vital flame within the stiffer one?
Most shrug or mumble they don't know
then off they run, as if the math were done.

Is there a tool by which the human mind
can crack through this hard nut? Great ones have trod
atrociously rough roads with hopes to find
a soul's rosetta stone that leads to God.
But here, just glistening away, is stark
and hard stone proof that life itself shines through
from somewhere else. The man whose gaze is dark
became a pumpkin once his light withdrew.