Accepting the Grief of Death

Lo and behold, a tower of shadow
dripped with the acrid tears of its prisoners.
Silhouetted by the night, frigid branches
reach out like rapacious claws,
maliciously expectant of my presence. The desperate call
of thunder frantically reprimanded each streak of lightning.
My wet flesh trembled with each atmospheric dissonance.
Ghastly and intimidating, the specter confronting me
callously aped the faceless executioner
of my security.

Unremitting tears had mocked me, as I’d run.
As each scorned my pale cheeks, they had taken hostage my self-respect,
confidence, courage, will,
before screaming suicide into my unabashedly forsaken footsteps.
The sudden materialization of my tormenter
had stunned even those spiteful tears into submission.
With a momentary collapse
into compulsory solace, I abandoned my body
to the cold hollow of nature’s asylum. But no sanctuary could I find
to hide from my guilt.

Heaven’s sympathetic wail harmonized with my own
as its tears stroked my numb shoulders and arms in comfort. The gesture
only honed the abusive blade of memory:

Teasing the grass with the tickle of my eyes, I sat content
in the affectionate embrace of my oak tree. The summer’s evening sun
painted my world a passionate amber, as the wind
leapt between branches vivacious with playful emerald leaves.
I smiled into the beauty of it all.
And when hesitant footsteps intruded my silence,
my thoughts delved not
into the acerbic waters of pain they would drown me in.
It is not the messenger of such news whom you can blame.
Nor is it the instigator.

How can the dead claim responsibility
of the anguish they inflict onto their surpassed?
And with individualized guilt dwindling, whom else
could my forlorn sight seek to claim fault,
but the soul closest to its own?
My comprehension felled by woe,
my body plotted escape from this final sunset.
With the bleeding sky darkening
behind the incursion of bruised clouds,
I ran.

The wind grabbed beseechingly
at the surplus of my clothing.
My refusal to reprove my insolent speed
provoked its sweaty hand to strike my face and arms,
its stormy frustration coercing my resolution.
If only I could run fast enough,
pump my arms hard enough and push my legs strong enough,
I could outrace it all. And when my lungs’ protests suppress
the dissents of my oxygen-deprived limbs, not even the indignant fatigue of my corpse
will harbor enough energy to dwell upon the remorse of my soul.

But my body’s desolately ignorant scheme
eluded its aspiration, as the abrupt hand of reality
smote it back into consciousness. For,
lo and behold,
a tower of shadow dripped
with the acrid tears of its prisoners. Silhouetted by the night,
frigid branches reach out like rapacious claws,
maliciously expectant of my presence.

Indeed, what a cruel circle
heartache deceives our expectancies into looping.
The death of an inspirational, revered, loved member of your reality
tends to attain that:
emptiness deep enough to drown in. And when circuitous hope
betrays your confidence in resilience,
attacking you just when you’ve again recognized
the gentle warmth of time’s endurance, it’s then
that a blameless courier will submerge your comfort
and flood the eternally gaping hole in your heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


9 × one =