Uncertain Passing by the Day

Uncertain Passing by the Day

Copyright © September 27, 2014 by Douglas W. Jerving.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of the author, except as provided by USA copyright law.

Ray had reason to pause and catch his breath,
His own betimes so difficultly kept,
(The COPD death from cigarettes).
It seemed to him that all life might be held
A moment slightly short, in fixation
On light the dying say they see as Earth
Descends below their rising in the sky,
While numbled sleep envelops the last nerve
So that the cold of day is warm as night.

Ray stopped, concerned. The figure did not move.
He thought his own might be that one some day.
Should he make the matter more than a mere glance?
Chastise the sleeper or wake up the dead?
But neither one was clear to him the truth,
And passers-by know little of the facts;
And he was just a city-worker round
His rounds.

                Still round about these rounds he went
On regular circuit. Yet never he
Found any of the things seen on TV
Making for the murder mysteries or other
Sundry disconcerting snuffs the commons
View for their vicarious fill of death,
Hoping somehow, watching, they might escape
The Dance Macabre.

                             The leitmotif was clear!

He had to look again just to be sure,
And so again a second and a third,
Just to be safe, if not for heaven’s sake
At least for his own, lest some fateful day
He’d be who another circuit rider’d
Find late slumped over his lawn chair at eight
On an early autumn morning, coffee
Still unfinished in the cup at his feet
And a book opened to the poetry of Frost.

The door opens at the top of the steps
As if some soul had knocked on heaven’s gate-
Just four above the recently departed
Who hears her in his dream, his head still down,
As the lady of the house addresses Ray. She,
(“He’s been all night awake and comes to rest.
His coffee can’t contain his need for sleep.”)
Constrained by his misplaced concern, a smile
Settles Ray’s fearful heart and wakes the dead
(Who dreamed of workers passing alley-way
As if he had no real existence there
And may have been a phantom only known
To who’s reality was just the dream
That she had now at last awaked him from).

And he, the dead man now alive, with her,
To him, the circuit rider, reassures
(“Oh! I am fine.” With glee “The night is spent!”)
The rider’s aching soul against his fear
And sends him on his way at last at peace,
And happy that at eight o-clock AM
The autumn day still offers sunny warmth
While a hint of late flowers still touch the air.


Doug Jerving is the publisher of the NewEdisonGazette.com. You may contact him at djerving@newedisongazette.com.


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