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In Peace Thee Rest

Arshiya Khanna

Graveyards are a sorry sight
Washed in shades of steel and night
With pale faces
Mapped with tear streaked traces
Treading the grounds of the Dead

She glided along
Unseen unheard, amongst a black-clad throng
For a mere apparition she was now
Carrying faint wisps of memory in tow
Nothing more than a whey-faced phantom
Puzzling over her death’s conundrum
Mourning with the living on this dewy dawn

Today was the funeral,
A desolate farewell ritual-
Of the body she had inhabited for eighty-six years
she witnessed grievous love dripping down in heavy tears
a pain searing through soul and skin
like acid to the face and sword to the shin
“Behold the Naïve and Guileless!”
cawed Raven from one scrawny tree, “For I have to confess-
Humans have too much faith in a life so fleeting,
Only to wraith-dance over fresh graves, screeching
Ah, To see morbid melancholies shatter merry mortals!”

She could bear it no longer
Cracked voices, teary eulogies- the gloom grew stronger
she glided over to her body
Shriveled -it lay flat and rubbery
Bereft of a soul warm and golden
only to burnout- now it lay frozen
That soul which was now pale and lost

And she lay down with herself
On the pyre, only to engulf
Her bodiless form in flames of ruby-sapphire
sniffs and wails ricocheted an eerie choir
Of humans bidding adieu
The Dead beckoning the new

And she breathed her last breath
Not of roses and lilies
But of ashes and fire
Devouring her pyre


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