Written after hearing of three deaths in 24 hours last week. All expected, given age and infirmity, but unconnected in life. One a dear family member and friend; one a neighbour of 90, who I grew up supporting; one a friend.
This staccato structure is not my usual style, and yet I think it serves the subject better than something more lyrical could. It is a sober reflection on the fact that the wages of sin is death (Epistle to the Romans 6.23). The Apostle Paul finishes the verse with hope, saying that the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. This poem does not touch on that hope, for my sober reflections of last week are of three, who did not to my knowledge grasp that gift.
I did not hear you knock or bid you enter
Yet still you came
Without an introduction
But your name.
You came to take the wages you were due
The time was right
No other way to pay
Out of sight.
They say, "Weep not, for I have had a good life"
And so admit
The blessings they have
Living so long in debt but blind to it.
They were your sins,
A life self-made,
A death long due.