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Death Is Not a Solitary Thing

by John Kent
The blackened surface
slicked by rain,
reflects the light
of a lonely street lamp.

Well past the midnight hour,
all are asleep in the house
moved only by the ticking
of a wary clock, the rain
sliding mournfully down
the window panes;
the clicks and creaks never
tracked down, but always there,
in the house at night,
when all is quiet.

The house stands guard,
lovingly sheltering those
within it, awaiting one more
occupant before falling into sleep.
But he will never come home.
He has died in the sheets of rain
that sweep the road where
the street lamp stands...staring
at the huge oak tree across the way,
suddenly, violently embraced
by smoking metal, burnt rubber,
dead flesh.

It was a party.
He stayed too long,
had one drink too many.
an urgent ringing of the bell,
a flashing red,
four children stunned to disbelief,
a wife and mother gone to grief.

A house that knows...it too has died.

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Copyright © 1999 by John Kent. All rights reserved.