In the Grasp Of the Scythe

Poem about death

Today’s writing exercise: Writing what comes.

Reading all the news reports about the deadly terror attacks in Paris, my heart was heavy and my fingers twitchy. Twitchy to empty myself of the weight in my head and swelling in my chest. Not sure if what came out makes sense; there is no specific rhyming pattern or meter, but it was what my heart wanted to say.

When death is at the door
Do we wait?
Do we wait, never more
To open again the annals of the past;
The sights, the sounds we thought would last
And never end,
But would begin again and again
Each and every day,
And think that this day
Would not come our way?

 
It was never real.
Never real to feel
Such a weight in our throat
that couldn’t be swallowed
But only followed
By a rush to think of what’s been left undone
When there’s no time to run
To care for the cares we used to care for
When all is no more
And death is at our door.

 
What then?
What now?
Do we live as before,
Or do something more,
Or lie paralyzed on the floor,
Or is every day new as if death’s at the door?

 
What now?
For what is taken away
In a moment, we say
That life is not fair,
We’re here then we’re there
In the grasp of the scythe
Where none can repair
That which we left broken
To be fixed with an air
Of haughty escape
From the responsibility we ignored
Then tried to reshape–

 
“Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll take care of it then.”

But when is your then?

What if now is your then?
Does that “then” turn to “now?”
And does that change you somehow?

 
Or will you keep staying off that knock at your door,
Keep saying you have time as you’ve done heretofore,
Not confessing the truth that none knows the time
When our clock stops, and the door bell chimes
From the distal phalanx of the one in the hood,
Whose caricature looms evil, but whose truth’s misunderstood.
When Death is at the door…

Is that the time to be good?


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette In Verse. Read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free by visiting Nottingswood.com. Available now in print, eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads, and read his interview with Smashwords here.

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