Monday, 11 September 2017

LAST RITES

by Susan P. Blevins


Night is the hunter of lonely souls
no place lonelier than shuttered city
in the small hours

Melancholy strains of Eric Satie seep out of
ill-fitting windows onto cold wet
city street

A sleepless soul sinking deeper
into hopelessness with each
despairing note

Homeless woman pauses to listen
shuffling feet interrupt their journey to
final destination

Jealously she drags her
piece of hard-won cardboard behind her,
peering over her shoulder at shifting shadows

The soft sad music reminds her of days long gone
when she had roof and food and
warm clothes

Even a piano

All gone now, victim of a heartless political
system which beggared her with medical costs
when mortal illness struck

She lost it all to pay her bills
and now the cancer holds her in its
final death grip

She has a place she has come to like
and carefully lays out her cardboard bed
the last rites

She places her weary body on cold
wet city street, and surrenders
her final possession

* * * * *


"Last Rites" was first published in Mused BellaOnline Literary Review. 

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