A storm loomed and wind stirred
dried twigs of a leftover
summer plant, its withered tendrils
grasping at concrete and a
praying mantis long since deceased.
It reminded me of ol’ Marley. He
was dead as a door-nail.
And so are spent my recent successes.
A new chapter beckons, but the pain
of the present and abrupt end
makes me look more to the corrupted
mantis than the coming spring.
I’ve already been haunted by
the things I’ve done.
I paused, that morning, the carcass,
staring back at me, more wraith
than gentle spirit, igniting a
condemning symphony in my mind
accompanying the brittle descent
I’d taken from
many joyous years
odd but manageable recent ones.
I’d skipped to the last ghost, really!
That decrepit exoskeleton a hooked
and aged finger slipping from under
the ragged frock of death’s angel
pointing to my doom!
It cannot be! No!
Scrooge’s cry has become my own.
If only I could sponge away this writing,
and change these shadows by an altered life!