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Death's Chair

by Ethan Strathdee

The house is empty.
The wind screams its emptiness through the window-frames.
The yard is empty.
The dying grass beats its tattoo unheard against the tiles.

The chair is empty.

Yet no bird perches here, nor do the threads of moss.
Pull it into rot and oblivion.
For Death sits here.

Yet not for it those trappings of morbid royalty.
That we, imagining, cast over our fear.
No cloak of shadows or bone-white scythe.
No skull-grin, laughing at those who will laugh no more.
No angel-black wings of trailing feathers.

For Death finds its smile in the empty windows.
Grinning over the desolation.
Death finds its cloak in the falling dusk.
That pulls purple shadows down to smooth cracked tiles.
Death's scythe bites in the chill of the wind.
That tosses pebbles endlessly against the yellowed wall.

The scream of rusted hinges mourns.
As the slow and endless patter of falling dust.
Smooths the last vestiges of life from mold-crusted doorway and weathered tile.

But Death has can wait, and does.
For dust and wind and mold to do their work.
Sitting in its chair.