Somethings Shocking

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Somethings Shocking

You will die
as will everyone
you know

even the people you don’t know

the children you so love

their children

all the people on this train, the blur
of the train
just passed–

at some point everyone everywhere will lie
mouth agape
even if only
a gap in ash
a swill of sea

someone (if the deceased was lucky)
will beg that mouth to speak,
to forgive, please to just
release them

also to stay

Draft poem for Mama Zen’s prompt about something shocking on Real Toads with word count of 77.  Pic is mine of an ancient Egyptian piece in the permanent collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum.  (Unfortunately, I did not get the dynasty!)  All rights reserved. (Ha.)

This has been edited slightly since first posting, and since all the comments!  (Agape was ajar.) 

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12 Comments on “Somethings Shocking”

  1. Jamie Dedes Says:

    “also to stay” Yes!

  2. Shocking from beginning to end. So much truth… and some of it (the last two stanzas) not pretty at all. There is a lot of intensity in the last few lines–the relief found in absolution, and that other not so comfortable feeling that leaves a person feeling thankful before it didn’t happen to them… they get “to stay”.

  3. So true.. The simplest of truths is always the most shocking. That parting in the end really put the point where it belongs.

  4. Brendan Says:

    Knowing enough of your backstory that train travel is a frequent passage, its such a great metaphor for lives hurling to and fro, for the way time is a moment and then gone. The Egyptian reference makes the observation mythical – timeless — and yet still heartbreaking.

  5. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Intimations of mortality may strike one’s consciousness at strange times.

  6. othermary Says:

    It is shocking to think of everyone living dead, though we know that’s the way of it. Then you add the last line, and remind us the opposite is even more shocking.

  7. Mama Zen Says:

    It never stops being shocking, does it?

  8. Sherry Marr Says:

    This is wonderful, especially the closing line!

  9. This might be a draft but to me it is a fully-formed poem in its own right. The beginning is very strong, planting the idea of death in the reader’s mind. The ending is beautiful. Thanks. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  10. M Says:

    do you know the Flaming Lips song, Do You Realize? worth a listen…

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