The Last Day Of December

Poem By Francis Duggan

It comforts some to see life
as a journey to a happy land,
where the holiday sun never sets.
Heaven – no maps exist; no one
returns to recommend it, in the T-shirt.
As for the souls that have departed for it:
hand-picked eggs.
Sounds worth the wait.
Only approaches get aborted
on occasions. Travellers tell
of a light so bright it pierces
hands and eyelids - a give-in-to-me
white, taking sight with it.

It comforts some; torments you:
you a fugitive from what is
coming after you, sucking life
and light in, sickle-grim.
Your direction is delinquent
making clocks of every compass.
You'll be taken under winged duress -
Heaven? Over my dead body.
Think of all the things
you couldn't do there, or say -
time immemorial on your best
behaviour. On the first day,
you'd have your folks around.
Old friends will mob you next.

You'll catch up with ancestors,
then the characters you've read
about everybody looks for, some
in dark glasses. Jesus won't be
how you pictured Him. God will be
on business. Soon you'll
wonder why it's quiet.
Then you'll realise what's left
to do might last the week.
So you’ll head for trees alive
with snakes that chat to you:
EXIT? He boobytraps the fruit.
You grin. Then you're another
white explosion in the orchard.

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