An Incidental Therapy

A man died in my arms and I began to cry.
In his last fleeting words he spoke his greatest lie:
“I fell in love with a woman whom I hated so,
I preached the words of truth I never proved to know.”
His last gasping words turned into five or ten.
His eyes became despondent to a moment when
He held his finger, hovering, above the life and death
Of everything good and bad derived from God’s breath.
His lungs gasped for breath, his eyes began to fade.
He spoke in a whisper of every promise made:
“I’d lay in bed all night, their faces in my head,
How I promised wine yet granted only bread.”
Then with a transparent sigh he closed his eyes and died,
Leaving me to wonder why I’m the one who cried.

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5 thoughts on “An Incidental Therapy

  1. Very interesting, the speaker being the only one who cried, meaning that he must be the only person that seemingly understands the dying man’s statements as lies. Perhaps the old man felt he didn’t do as he could have (or should have) in his life and wanted to convince himself that he never wanted to do those things, or never believed that he had to. For him, his afterlife (or simply his death, depending) and whatever solace he needs to seek there is contingent upon this self-inflicted lie. Or maybe, on another level, the speaker doesn’t want to believe that this dying old man wasn’t the person he always said he was, so he chooses to think that his dying statements are lies, as a means of resting more comfortably in understanding that the old man was good and pure, and someone to remember well.

    Good stuff brother, well written. You definitely capture the ever so required element of an emotional pull that captures the reader right away. A good poem is one that doesn’t have just one explanation or meaning, but can be read many ways, by many people, and be understood in different ways.

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