He awoke around midnight
with a strange thought in his head,
Was floating through a distance
somewhere high above his bed.
He could not reach the blankets
that had kept him once so warm,
Stared down on a rusted crown
left beside his lifeless form.
Promises long forsaken
were drifting into this view,
Written on the parchment brown,
carried by a breeze come through.
Reminded him his fortune;
his survival of the flood;
All those things given to him
that were signed for with his blood.
Trumpets played and drummers drummed
as people paraded by,
Hardly got to say 'hello',
let alone a quick 'goodbye'.
Saw a few he knew by name
though they looked not at his face,
Marched into the falling mist,
disappearing with no trace.
Felt the chill of winter's breeze
as if cut through to the bone,
Knew at once the emptiness
meant for those that die alone.
Minutes turned to centuries
and dreams took flight on the wing,
Changes move with changes quick;
the alarm clock starts to ring.
He's now cleaned this parish church
for nigh on thirty-five years . . .