By Sy Roth
For want of a nail
They were not wanting
So many nails,
A cache of nails
To drive into their coffins
Paid in jiggers of vodka
They would slog the miles
To the pits.
Choreograph their end
A Twyla Tharp ending
Played to a defunct Mahler
To keep them mollified.
The nails see only vermin
In their intoxicated vision
Smell their fear
Before a lightning crackle
Marks crescendic endings.
Poor naked souls stack themselves
On top of yet, still-warm bodies.
Melodic line met--
Last look before the darkness enfolds
Those who will entomb them
Lamblike creatures align at the flag
They queue from right to left
A Hebraic arrangement
To a two-shot tango--
One reserved for the child held aloft
By a resigned dame who sees no exit—
Child held aloft
Limp in naïve trust
To be followed by the second crack
Then hustled into the pit to join the others.
Swim in their own river of blood
The stagehand obeys the director’s cue.
He rolls them into the abyss
New cast assembles
Take their place at the flag
While the director trods on their backs
To dispatch those who dared to live,
Sinners in the hands of an angry god.
Copyright © Sy Roth | Year Posted 2021
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