The Bequest

When my wife’s great Aunt ‘Dora died
We received a strange bequest.
Not land or Gold or Mallomars
But a box, covered in dust.

Her will strictly enjoined us
from opening the box.
The sides had cryptic puzzles
That served it as strong locks

The box was rather ornate
Carved from finest sandalwood
Inlaid with golden letters
a Greek would have understood.

We both took very seriously
The task to guard this prize
To keep this family heirloom
preserved from prying eyes..

Ten years it stood there in our room
An enigmatic guest
And often I would ponder it
while I was getting dressed.

Until one dark December day
In the Millennial year
Curiosity overcame my wife
And she succumbed, I fear.

My Darling, being curious,
Solved the riddles on the side
She was just prying up the lid
As I ran inside..


A disembodied Banshee screamed
The air was thick and red.
I rushed to close the box back up
in existential dread.



Still, the world seemed little changed
As I sequestered hope.
The radio said by 5-4
George Bush had won the vote

I think on all that’s happened since
As things have gone to Hell
Bloody wars in foreign lands
Discord at home as well.

Since then twin towers crashed and burned
And Wall Street did the same
Do you think it could be possible
Aunt Pandora’s Box shares blame?

by John F. McCullagh

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