Monday, April 21, 2008

NaPo 08: 20 April

The Victim

I've had some ghosts
walk through that door,
but as wraiths go,
he was a first.
I gave him a drink
- whiskey, I think -
and asked his name.

"The bone that juts
out of my neck
offers no clues,
Mister Sleuth?
I thought the world
knew the name
of the kin who gave me
the third clavicle."

It was plain to see
the man was bitter
about his murder.
I probed for a while:
the name of his killer;
possible motives;
a corpse to check.

"He didn't even
bury my body -
well not until
that raven came
and showed him how
to hide his crime!"

I lied. I knew
this story, recalled
the hearing of it
on cold Sundays
sat on hard pews.
It made no sense
for him to be here -
the brother was caught
and judged by God
at the start of the book.

"You call that justice,"
the revenant spat,
"me in the dirt
and him to walk it
protected forever
by his precious mark?
When mum lost the farm
we all got to share
the punishment.
But no resurrection
for me, oh no!
I get to be dead
forever more,
and me a virgin
shepherd, too."

I did what I could
for the ghost; I listened
- until a woman
dressed in lipstick
knocked on the door.
It's business, I said
shrugging my shoulder,
the second sin
don't pay the rent.

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