Speak It Below
Under the moon I do the darkest of deeds,
To send another man to Heaven,
I pick his pocket.
As he ascends, I must pay my way
For the boatman.
Coins and locket.
It has been two years to the day
Since I have found myself
Under that moon.
I must confess, but to whom?
Shall I be condemned by laws
before The Almighty?
I hear stories of a river north
That listens to whispers
And carries them forth.
I must find this river and confess
I must speak my truth
And free myself.
My chest weighs heavy as this
Horse and carriage of remorse
Trample me and perish.
I reach the river, foggy in mind
The sediment, thick with truths
It runs with haste downstream.
A whisper floats along the fog
"Speak it below"
I wince and nod.
I kneel down, smelling the murk
And mist, pressing my lips
Against the surface.
I lean further and drown my face
In such cold, cold trust that
My confession flows with haste.
I speak immersed, beneath the cover
Of such a moon, my secrets sink
To the depths, swept by current.
I fear this river is too well known
That this bed I have sewn
Wicked weeds have grown.
I dry my face, my scarf now soaked
This deed I have done,
This confession I’ve spoke
Drifts down stream and out of sight.
Cloaked and muddied,
I walk home this night.
Cold is this day when the frost
Has covered our fields
And the river has slowed.
The fish can be seen through the ice
Feeling safe they swim
Waiting to be snatched up.
They tell stories of foul fish
Tasting rotten and dead
Though they are moments old.
The youth love fish from the river,
They eat it up until
They have had their fill.
They begin to foster illness in heart
The devil’s sins begat man, and
The girls turn courtesan.
Where does this come from?
Why has our river town soured?
Whence has this evil poured?
We eat fresh fish, and fresh grain
Yet this evil is around again
Always under this moon.
Copyright © Christopher Looper | Year Posted 2015
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