A man stops a hearse

by Glenn Currier

The unshaven disheveled man
hangovered, cold, and confused
awakens in the shadows
relieving his bladder but not his self
he stumbles over a splintered pallet
into the morning light of Main and Minor
headed for the promised warmth
of a coffee shop beyond his present reach
notices to his right a funeral procession
walks to the middle of the Street
where he had found and lost millions
stops the hearse the driver motions
him to leave for the margins.

Shirt tail hanging out and unzipped
he notices the familiar red Mustang
silver Trailblazer brawny Mountaineer
in line to honor the once living
walks to the driver’s window and stands
stooped like a grizzled old veteran in an honor guard
asks who died and hears a voice:
Your ex Joy died of a broken heart
gazing at coral clouds in twilight.

He began wailing clutching the driver’s coat
remembering the day his Hope was born
and the inexpressible pride welling up
from a cave of loneliness and shame
remembering Faith the day she fell
never to run the forty yard dash
backing off falling on the curb
in a heap of sorrow and regret
noticing a near forgotten feel
of wetness on his cheek
a thin gossamer glint
emitted an airy lyric
sung in a clearing
gently scrubbing
a battered soul
with years
of tears
and I
am .


Author's Note: I changed the tile to be more concrete - less abstract and unreachable.

Posted on 10/01/2009
Copyright © 2020 Glenn Currier

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by George Hoerner on 10/01/09 at 05:27 PM

This is an excellent write Glenn. And one we should all remember, for one day we may watch a hearse in which we ride and as we look down there may be many or none to follow us to some resting place.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 10/01/09 at 06:25 PM

Yes, well count me as one blown-away by this. The scene unfold quickly, ascriptively to the title. The emotive element is leveled sudden, but with beauty: "died of a broken heart gazing at coral clouds in twilight". The final stanza, I think, forces the reader into a visual sieve...demanding the reader to join the narrator in his shoes. Bravo, Glenn. Thanks.

Posted by Kate Demeree on 10/02/09 at 09:15 AM

I would comment but I am speechless! WOW!!!

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 10/03/09 at 06:24 PM

Tragedy unfolds with deepening distress in this very symbolic poem. The ending making it very personal. "There but for the grace of God go I."

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