Archive for the ‘Epitaphs’ Category

George Dillon Davidson

George Dillon DavidsonOne day, when I was ten,
I was playing baseball
with Miguel Elliott, and we
saw a strange movement and
light high up in the air.
Miguel swore it was the Angel
Gabriel, giving a
trumpet concert. I told
him it was a UFO, and
spun him a story of
aliens coming to
earth, escaping cruel masters, and
befriending a pair of
Earth boys who they would take
on an adventure. Just then, Rod
Deegan went past, and heard
what we were saying. He
chastised us that it was just a
weather balloon, and we
were wasting our time, and
we should grow up now and get jobs.

Miguel met his Angel
after he slipped, and he
never got to grow up. I spent
a lifetime running, and
hiding from Rod Deegan
and his fellows. But every road
I took led back to their
clutches, and my life was
held in thrall to their patronage.
All three of us have passed
now. All three might be called
wastes, failures, or disappointments.
Did any of us leave
behind a mark on the
world, on our shared Spoon River home?
A life cut short, squandered.
A callow legacy
of corruption. Unfinished tales,
read by few, remembered
by fewer. All of us
falling short. All of us failing.

The Gods of the Vikings
all knew they were doomed, that
there was nothing they could do to
avert their fate. What they
taught their Norsemen was to
fight for as long and as fiercely
as they could before they
succumbed to death. And death
spared no one, even deities.

I did what I did. I
struggled hard as I could.
Now we’re all gone. Now we’re all here

Sebastian Parrish

Sebastian ParrishI lay on my deathbed, waiting for
God or his angels to come.
I’m still waiting. I’ll wait forever.
I know they will come for me.

Geoff Cage

Geoff CageTobin Burgess is
muttering his
wish to be a plant.
But he’s looking
in the wrong place. We
are all water,
droplets in a huge
river. Each one
a speck in the great
torrent. And in
the end, the river
returns us all
to the fathomless
ocean from where
we began. Or we
and ascend to the
cloudy heavens.

Levar Conway

Levar ConwayThe old don’t speak to
the young. They blame the young
for being different,
strange, frightening. Or they
speak at the young, with
regard for listening
only to their own
words, mistaking their worn
proverbs for wisdom.
But I spoke to them. And
I listened to them.
Their fears, Their hopes. Their schemes
and cosmologies.
And I told them that their
elders were just as
lost, just as confused as
they were. And to trust
themselves. I told them the
things I wished had been
told to the young me, what I
learned through all my long
revolutions. They might
not have listened to
me. They may not have heard.
But some of them did.
Even if only one.

Tobin Burgess

Tobin BurgessWhile I was wasting
away, I spent days sitting
in the garden. It
was the early spring. The trees
were just beginning
to bud, waking from their long
winter’s sleep. Starting
over. I didn’t think it
was possible to
envy plants. I did. I do.

Layne Cornell

Layne CornellOn Sundays, when my
family went to church, I
went instead to the
library. That was where the
angels sang to me.
And my worship was most
devout. I miss my
books so much. I try to tell
myself the stories.
What I can recall of them.

Kenji Shaito

Kenji ShaitoMy life was music.
And though I will never
make more, what I did
create is still in the
world. Not a lot of
it, not heard by many.
But it is there, while
I am gone. And as long
as that is the case,
there is the chance someone
will hear it fresh. So
I can still live, until
the last recordings
degrade, and the final
person who heard them
passes into nothing.

Captain Achilles Pavalides

Captain Achilles PavalidesDon’t venerate me, or my
service. I joined for a payoff of
money and strength, but none of us got
much of either. Except for
the permission to take lives. I killed
who they told me to, when they told me
to. I died the same way. A
tool, broken and discarded. Glory
and honor can’t embrace you, but the
cold dirt can. We go to war,
each of us for our own reason. And
we all died for somebody else’s.

Mitchell Maddox

Mitchell MaddoxAt the end of my days, I found
that I loved my dearest
enemies. At least I knew them,
even if it was to
despise them. But the new world is
so different, so strange. So
my old adversaries became
my last compatriots.

Yancy Melbourne

Yancy MelbourneI stumbled through the
world of light, shrouded in darkness. But
now that I’m buried
in the dark, I see nothing but light.
Surrounding, filling,
connecting us all. I wish I’d had
an inkling. Perhaps
I wouldn’t have been so terrified.

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