On The Day Of The Dead

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Contributor: John Grey

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Streets crawl with-skeletons,
papier-mâché, the best kind,
bodies arched, limbs loose and flapping,
bones etched by black ink.
Some wear crowns,
some, ten gallon hats,
stumbling, dancing,
drunken friends
swaggering in the setting sun.
It's the day of the dead
but everything's alive,
A carcass free of ever having lived
can even make the children laugh.
And light as kites,
they bump against you
and you hardly know there's contact
The other world should always be like this.
No tyranny of eternal darkness,
just messianic clowns.
It's not in me to think of cancer
at this festival, a sister's final days,
a friend's OD, coffins, funerals,
spades and holes and priests
and what's the blackest suit I own.
It's a venerable afternoon.
The skeletons are wobbly, slack,
uninhibited, uncontrolled, and friendly.
Now that's a death we all can agree on:
silly strangers prancing in the fading light
No names but pleased to see you.
No warning just a breezy, warm, mock greeting.
I'd even shake their hand if they had one.

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John Grey is an Australian born poet Recently published in Bryant Poetry Review, Tribeca Poetry Review and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Osiris.


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