Poem: An Early Arrival – Spoken Word and Text – 11/08/20

Audio: An Early Arrival
Death says, “You’re early!”
as I walk onto the stage.
My guillotine sharpened and ready,
media smiling while clasping notepads,
pressed pens upon page.
I was not expected for years,
this is what Death’s exclamation explains to me,
but I am a spectacle,
I am here for the hungry crowd,
they wish to view the macabre,
this audience is here and ready to see.
What hastened my arrival?
I could not tell you for sure,
even I am shocked into disbelief,
though of my end, not frightened to the core,
because I am here to promise a show for them,
I am here with the promise of a song and dance,
a strummed tune for them,
I will present until the final drop of the blade for them,
then off I will roll, and that’s the last I will reveal to them.
It’s hard to entertain when all I’ve been doing my whole life is just that,
not out of practice but tired of performing,
it drains me so to have to always be alert
and on show,
but the fact of the matter is,
I took this role,
and Death gestures as if to say,
“If you’re ready, off you go!”
I gingerly test the guillotine, pulling slowly,
allowing the blade to rise far earlier
than my life, my neck, would ever have expected
to have nestled beneath,
I try the blade, it is sharp, it is harsh, it is mean,
it is everything that is promised by a weapon from Death
who now seems so keen.
He is no longer shocked into submission,
he is encouraging the crowd to rise with their applauding,
and I wonder why he is so wild with their energy’s encouragement,
perhaps he wants me to go out with an enthusiastic moment.
But, I decide I don’t want to perform a song and a dance,
no, I don’t wish to partake in this solo show expected of me,
in fact, I have decided from this stage I wish to leave,
and quite frankly, I’m done with being this expected version of me.
Thus, from the stairs I clumsily descend,
scurry away with a glance over my shoulder,
apprehension in my eyes,
this is not to say of Death I am afraid,
but I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am unafraid, even brave before him either.
My courage simply wilted the moment I stepped off stage,
out of view from that hungry, cruel crowd,
I think I’ll stay well away from Death’s clutches,
I want to remain alive for far longer,
I don’t need to hear his grating, formidable tone,
myself, I know I have saved,
with my will and personal power.   

© 2020 Lauren M. Hancock. All rights reserved.
Image by Richard Duijnstee from Pixabay

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