Death

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Death

parts of me are old and falling apart

others I never knew are newly revealed

you read Death of a Hired Man as a child,

then one day in the mirror Silas his self gives you a start.

that old man in the hay asleep in the barn

she opens the door just a crack with her man in the back

holding the dogs, his shotgun at slack

‘Silas you can’t stay here no more’ is her warn

‘You must go it was a long time ago, is your mind lost?’

he leans on his legs to see if they stand his feathery weight

enough it would seem to escort him out to the night

he pushes the gate and replaces the latch with a catch

trudging into the hill that held back the wind

’til its chill creeped his bones with a pall

as he came to the top the upend of his haul

pushed him down, down, down with a snort so unkind

he lay there in a bundle of death’s premonition

told him to carry his self and what he could worry

back down the hill to the gate and the catch of his sorry

where his coat managed to snag, his will, maybe his mission

she found him in mourning a picture of frozen hell

there was no fire, no wind in the dawn, just a shadow

of love cold forgot, Silas is home and his death ours now

buried outback with a stone to remind, remember him well.

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