Angels Of The Drink

I clench at the bottle within my bony grasp,
And as drunken fumes enrage my mind I gasp
As before me the Angel of Death stands fast.

What right has it, to stand as such?
Am I not king? A prince of boundless wrath?
‘Away with thee’, and hobble away upon my crutch.
My regal scepter of rags and ash.

With the silence of thieves it creeps upon me.
A shadowy cloak that glides, as if it were free from the heavy world of man.
And all around it dances gaily to mock me,
Showing me what I am.

Yet then I turn and face it,
For I have drunk from the cup of Christ!
And the fire of life courses though me,
As I kneel upon the ice.

Victory flies with me
For I look above and see her wings of feathery light,
As she throws her sword within my sight.

I draw it from its muddy tomb.
Of filth, and rats, and beasts of gloom.
And as I draw it from its rusty sheath,
Creatures of night cry out in grief,

The time has come, and here we duel,
As wet pain stabs upon my back,
And I feel the drunken anger fuel
My holy vengeance upon this floating sack.

I claw at the tattered, plastic shred.
A bag from a bin. I bow my head.
And let the pipe slip from my grasp,
As I fall to my knees in sobbing gasps.

My Strength forsakes me,
And leaves a shell.
An empty husk of man who fell.
Trapped, within this freezing hell.

by Michael Graham Baddeley

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