Strapped and gleaming,
Black-plumed: a perfect turn-out
For the last, long ride.
Side-by-side in the traces
You stepped out; steady, stately,
Unburdened by your load.
Talk and traffic ceased their flow
As you passed – solid, vital,
Death itself meek and mute behind you.
Something deep within you
Stopped, snapped. All was stilled
And the road rushed up to meet you.
Silence exploding in siren shrieks,
Lowered eyes now wide and staring,
Bowed heads now craning forward,
Then turning away.
And after the shock, the guilty asking
Who to grieve for now.
I have far too much work on, really, but I couldn’t not write in response to this. My wife saw the incident; I must confess I’m glad I wasn’t there. Some (better) writers might have found a dark comedy in it, but I’m afraid I couldn’t. N.