Scene of Death

By Marlan J. Leon

Puffy eyes, laden with tears, drench solemn faces
Eyes which seem like grey clouds pouring rain
Speak a story of unbearable pain
Dying for a morsel of solace

Faces contorted by grief
With no consolation or relief
Wails of agony reverberate in the church hall
As death has made an absolute call

An ominous hush stifles the air as the coffin is wheeled in
Dark as death
Smooth as satin
They look to see if the glass is fogged up by his breath

Eyelids clasped shut by death’s cold, clammy hands
A soul whisked away to unreachable lands
A place of no return
A truth no one can fully discern

He was once as bright and enigmatic as a burning fire
Now, only the cold, impotent ashes remain
For his life has been extinguished by death’s disdain
Now devoid of any feelings, thoughts or desire

Slowly, the coffin is wheeled to the front aisle
Right under the priest’s nose
Mustering a wry smile
Preparing to preach a sermon contrary to the truth everyone knows

He prays for a doomed soul
With a shower of words which are akin to watering a wilted flower
Crying over spilt milk which has curdled and turned sour
Walking on a shoe missing its sole

He knows the beauty of being alive
But death is the thorn in the rose
A sunset signaling the day’s close
As darkness and coldness arrive

He’s a groomed orator perched on a pulpit
Preaching to ears hungry for comfort
Like ships in a maelstrom longing for a safe port
A sea of calm to appease a tempestuous spirit

Like words imprinted in a book, the words are engraved in his head
A myriad of funerals have made the use of paper almost redundant
Only new names to remember as the deaths have become abundant
No longer is he bogged down by a fear of the dead

Loved ones are choked up with grief and regret
Grieving that they will never see the young man again
Regretful in the way they treated him with disdain
Like an unwanted pet

All he needed was a listening ear
Someone to feel his pain
Understand the enormity of his strain
Someone to care

But they all cast him aside
Nonchalantly, they ignored him
Like a lost ship swept downstream
To the mercy of the ocean’s current and tide

They never offered him a bed to sleep, but now his head rests on velvet
Never did anyone embrace his meager frame
Nor was there any warmth when mention was made of his name
But now, they all stare at his corpse with eyes dripping wet

His eulogy is solemnly read
Misdeeds and trials carefully omitted from the pages
Not one mention is made of his ravages
They won’t tarnish his name now that he is dead

The young man’s killer is in the funeral as well
To ensure he isn’t in the realm of the living
Blending in effortlessly with those grieving
As, unknown to them, he has a tumultuous story to tell

Of many violent fights
Looking carefully at every corner and turn
Healing from wounds which sting and burn
The cause of many sleepless nights

In order to live, he had to strike his enemy dead
Ensure he never recovered from that injury
More an instance of self preservation than fury
And so, he put a bullet through his head

With grim satisfaction he smirks in the church
Only regretful that his rival is no longer alive to be despised
Raging thoughts in contrast to the organ’s solemn reprise
As he leaves, like a vulture welcoming death, jumping off his perch

With one last glance, he walks away
No longer tethered by that fearful apprehension
Free from all the tension
One less worry for the day

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