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Taking a dry lick
Over the smoke stain, guck,
Mouth forced wide as parched lips permit,
I marvel at my luck

For God’s sake, I still taste!
Even with barren limbs in stark tragedy
I’ve no toothache, bite only a bit numb,
Why this infernal haste?

Over the pain I’d mumbled a prayer 
To the reaper, 
To Miss E.R. Nightingale,
“Take me!  Not a moment spare!”

“Show in the cooing cloth
I’ve a message to whisper
Though I stumbled my way through life,
So did we, my wife, both.”

Die? Now I’m not too certain
The taste buds have returned
So, in this clammy atmosphere, antiseptic smell,
      I yell,
“Bring on the soup! Open the curtain!”

Dave Austin



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