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.



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