Alone, I Wander
Alone, I wander through a valley of shadows, where death towers over me under a watchful, ancient, silver eye, cycling from judgmental slit to audacious observer, on and on, the watcher rolls.
Its name I have lost, forgotten or disavow with spiteful satisfaction, however meaningless, my legacy to time’s incessant passing, days by months into years.
Head down, I raise the tattered collar of my coat, brace against a mist of dusty bits, stirred by wind or undesired memories.
An attempt to pull my thoughts into the periphery, where what remains calls my heart to break its rule of not caring for the ones whom life has forsaken.
I endeavor to dismiss their remnants, still, but these sorry ghosts refuse to be denied their regard, as my empty eyes strive to guide me over lonely, grey lands of forgotten men, bones, grinding into dust beneath my boots.
Bellowed, I have, wailed and squalled, until I am red, and close to mad, at these relics beyond decay, disheveled heaps of malcontent, strewn in disarray.
They supplicate justification, an explanation for their persistence, continued existence, of which I cannot give.
In turn, their hollowed caverns without view, yawning maws locked askew, dismiss my demands for validation with impassive accusation.
Hunched together in stubborn defiance, unified silence, eternal unanimity, it is and always will be death that unites humanity.
I tread onward, in need to abandon these vacant shells, leave them lay were they fell. Verily, no lamentation can reverse the consequence of death, nor unwrite the history by which their fate was met, in perverse disaccord, grievance, and descent.
That play of horrors – illuminated by harrowing flames, accompanied by the deafening chorus of screams, until subsiding to decisive moans, then whimpers dissipating – over and over in my head.
Oh memory, leave me, I plea. Dissolve into vapors and be set adrift on breathy breezes of relief. Depart from the momentous fool, none but myself, seeking camaraderie, a purpose for continuation, to transcend all I cannot agree.
I solicit not all life has fled from this dominion, leaving me and my abject misery to suffer in perfect isolation of opinion.
Spires whistle, something flaps, flap-flapping, as I pass, long black talons draw back, laying open the trek into the rough country ahead.
Whilst hint of day creeps up behind a mask, a veil, a guise, mockery of clouds, a smokey dark grey sky, offering little change from my perspective.
The sly watcher has been dispatched and somewhere the gods of choice grumble at the loss of their spy. Or rumble in humor of my ironic plight.
Jest of spite, to the delight of the all mighty, my dream of freedom from man’s abundant evil granted by this twisted end, a concession, a version of heaven in provision, my personal hell.
Alone, I wander.
Copyright 2021 Joan Wiley