The Horror of Your Wake

img_2511Your heart,
your poor damaged heart.

On every wall reams of butcher paper taped,
aborted babies fed to snakes (umbilical cords still attached)
by twenty foot demon women,
* * * laughing
all crayoned in the most vibrant of hues,
surrounded by pagan symbols,
no inch of paper left to white.

You always liked color

“She used to be such a good artist.”
mother slides in my shadow,
she’s seen you through the years,
working at your parent’s store,
through the years,
through the many year


She Who Speaks For God approaches on her walker,
and speaks when good and steady.
she has the same speckled green eyes
that at fifteen turned me to jelly.
“wait now,” she asks. “who were you?”
she’s had at least one stroke maybe two.
“a friend of C’s from long ago.”
she thinks a bit:
“ah yes, I remember,
the one with the toxic mother.”

You’ll like this next bit, C.
so listen closely.

she turns to mother
standing by my side,
the very same toxic mother and says…
“and you are an angel,
the rock of your family.”

Ha, ha, ha.  See I told you you’d like it.

back to me she turns,
“it’s almost too late for your salvation,
God has a message for you.
but you must act now!
come see me tomorrow and
i’ll give you your special message.

woman, are you looking around?
this is your daughter’s wake!
who’s that demon woman on the wall,
fucking with snakes?
that’s your daughter who’s died
with a message for You. can she paint it any larger?
can she scream it any louder?
can you hear it,
on the couch where nightly you await,
Christ to absolve you of your sin.

I did not say this aloud, C,
although I know you would have liked me to.

those abortions two
i’ll add mine and it will be three,
gave your mother a feast of evil to redeem,
as on a walker she stumbled up to me

But the horror of your wake?
Not those paintings on the wall,
nor your mother saving souls
when she should have been grieving a second child gone.
T’was your grandson,
so resembling your true love, soul mate,
jailer and daughter’s rapist,
that set my soul to ice.

He had the same cocky air.
I hope I’m wrong.

I’m sure I’m wrong.
Rest in peace
or set the Aurora Borealis aflame … your choice finally. 

There’s a sadness in friendships gone awry,
when one of you dies,
the other will cry.
Not that you could change the harsh hand of fate,
but a friend of youth weighs heavy at your gate.

From Writing for the Absent Reader, available on Amazon

Writing for the Absent Reader

6 thoughts on “The Horror of Your Wake

  1. So this is much tighter now and the images have grown louder and sharper. I now have hyperacusis and this poem is similar, since you had the increased sensitivity to the sound and dimension of things back then. I guess the pain never goes away and it is a sort of damage, but not in the inner ear. Yet the brain turns up the volume, sharpens the image, and the poem finally breaks out, marches down the street, crushing everything in its path, blocking the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

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