This is How Death Comes

by Laura Ring
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, March 2017
Judged by Sara Clancy


Gleaming and unapologetic in crisp fluorescence.
Flanked by a shrewdness of suits and toothsome smiles.
It comes in a cavalcade of paper, weighty pen
in a crabbed fist. In signatures terse and mean
and slanting far to the right.

It comes in legalese dressed up as reason.
It comes as a huckster with a bargain. Regrettable
necessity. A show of strength.

It slots its victims into spreadsheets
like folded chairs on a flatbed en route
to a grand fete. It’s all numbers and columns.
Capacity. Concern for security. This is how

Death comes, but it is not your death –-
it is the outstretched hand we snuff
our cigarettes out in; the boat turned
away from the harbor as the waves rise.

It comes with a swelled chest and a closed
mind. Makes its bed with the Father of Lies.
It arrives while we are otherwise occupied.
This is how Death comes: It comes with flags

and silence.



  • March 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Cuttlefish
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Wings
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      gutterball
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells