|Statue from the Cathedral of Trier, Germany|
Death, as you stand by and collect bodies,
which ones require music to sooth heartbreak:
slow slow extermination in camps and
slavery, soul first and bones to follow,
cancers that eat away humanity—
or instantaneous bombardment of
full cities, Hiroshima and Naga-
sacki? The beginning or end of World
War Two? Beginnings or endings?
I’d like it fast, please, a fast solo flight—
no crowd scenes, no families, no surprise
attacks, no plagues, locusts and no more war.
If I believed in resurrection of
the fittest—if I were so Christian—or
if I believed in Heaven, I might feel
otherwise. But I experience God
and spirit, mind, carnality and all
in this incarnation. Will there be more?
Death, if no music, do bird song and bells
reach you? Treetops and domesticated
animals? Wilderness? Do you eavesdrop
on prayers? On Love? On conspiracies?
Are you part of God or of the Devil?
Yes, I know. You came to life with mortals
and offer us much good—I should close my
mouth and swallow feeling in the face ofyour excess as with earthquakes and madness.
I experience humanity in
the grip of madness, a backdrop to the
daily deeds of human kindness that sate
waking hours and that consciousness insists
on spreading. Touch and words and love cushion
pain, I pray—not enough to prevent pro-
action and protest, but enough to praise
life as a constant good—one that Death plays
foil to. Dear Death, you make your point too well.
Posted for my prompt
a work in progress
Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast