Thursday, June 18, 2009


On his deathbed my uncle saw his long lost brother
Beyond the visible before our fading faces
Some collector from the underworld came with pennies to bribe the ferryman
Safe passage past faithful Cerberus
A calling
We did not question his visions although they seemed beyond what we deemed possible
Instead we prayed for light and love and mercy.
Against the pillows his face a pale visage of a former self
Laughter long since silenced by morphine and pain
We waited and watched for death
Ill-equipped and unprepared
There is no manual for the passing
Nor the living
No guide that says this is a job well done
Mortality and its cloying sick note hang on every door
The inevitable collector will come.
Beyond the hospital and it’s sterile walls
Clouds gather and the rain beats down
A smile lights his face – his hand growing cold,
Skin parchment thin
A gust of wind bristles the autumn leaves rattlesnake below
And he makes his exit
Softly and silently
Our hearts heavy with the letting go

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