A Spectre at the Feast by Stephen J. Dawson Jr.
This night’s feast welcomes a spectre,
Yet, no one seems to care.
He was not invited
But bares gift unrequited
That goes unseen by every weary stare.
He patiently waited no word was stated,
Just sat cosily there,
Tucked inside the parlour’s chair
The present brought was not a draught,
Yet, the time was very fair
His duty bade him wield blade and staff
Heavy burden make pallid, dreary wear
Upon his face, grim and placed
Upon his thin and fragile frame
For once he came he can’t replace
The harvest he’s to claim.
That feast finished
And, with a dimmèd candle flicker,
The guest became upstanding,
In the corner, by that wicker
Over there, just there,
And began a soft gait,
Not a stumble, without err
From that parlour chair
No greeting spoke,
Just secured a yolk
On the host of the eve
Like cattle to be led
Not to his bed
But to sleep so soon,
He could not have wept
But rest for the rest of all rests,
Just there, tucked behind the parlour chair.
This looming guest oft’ named in jest
Doth no such warning nor declare
Nor grant any words of final prayer
And left there, and spared the rest
An heir and widow, our guest, behest
To let share in their despair
O’er the body’s chest, tears fell through air
Still there, bereaved by the parlour chair
He stood there, then left off to elsewhere,
Somewhere where the time was soon
Another dirge for musing tune,
Each note whistled without err
Yet, no meal e’er be prepared
For our guest who seats himself
Tucked inside your parlour chair.
-Stephen J. Dawson Jr.