Monday, August 8, 2011

Threes

I was little more than a girl
when I started keeping company with death.
He didn't know me by name;
I was just a worker in his fields,
tending frail, palsied fruits
until the appointed times of each.

I never begrudged him his harvest.

I came to know his ways, though.
I could feel his footsteps along my spine,
catch the faintest drift of cinnamon and decay in the air,
and notice the exact moment when the birds
nesting in the north wing stairwell
hushed their song.

I know that he always takes in threes.

Six days ago, just after my first round,
he came for Mrs. Faulkner.
Hers was a quiet, pretty death.
Four days later, Mr. Layton clung to his final breath so fiercely
that I lost my usual indifference
and left work early to come home.

That's when I saw you with her.

Tell me, do you smell cinnamon?

16 comments:

Fireblossom said...

Justifiable homicide. My client gets a walk!

Mary said...

This is a wonderful poem, Mama Zen. It is good to keep company with "Death" as he/she eventually finds us all. Hopefully after a long and happy life.

hedgewitch said...

Dark and delicately ominous.

Heaven said...

Nice dark writing here...

I like it !

missing moments said...

Dark ... love it!

jen revved said...

Elegant and dark-- you have an exquisite style, MZ. xxxj

Amanda said...

Well written and relevant.

He took 3 of ours the past year...

happygirl said...

cinnamon... Thanks for the shiver.

Susie Clevenger said...

Much to be admired here...good write.

Pat Hatt said...

You always do a wonderful jump with the dark, with a touch of humor, loved this one.

Lolamouse said...

Perhaps Death will take in 4s just this once, eh? I smell the cinnamon and it's so sweet!

mrs mediocrity said...

oh my, chills up my spine... and now I shall never think of cinnamon in quite the same way...

haikulovesongs said...

i used to love the scent of cinnamon....

deliciously dark! ♥

Christine said...

This was amazing, "footsteps along my spine" great line.

Cheryl said...

You caught that moment of silence perfectly.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wow! (I'm never going to feel quite the same about cinnamon anymore.)