Death was an ancient traveller.
He was surprised that the old woman
opened the door for him so freely,
embraced him so tightly.
She found a form of comfort in his
hollowed face as he hid in the shadows
of her candle lit hut.
To her, Death was familiarity,
he was a constant, he was the cause
of all tears and laughter. She brings
Death to her hearth, wraps him
in sheep’s wool and tells him she has
loved him for her life time. She lights
the fire and tells him, she knows him
better than she knows the stars,
and that he is her closest friend.
You have been there for me
since the moment you birthed me.
She whispers to Death as she kneels
beside him. You were there when my crops
burnt to ash in July’s heat. You were there
when my fields drowned in heavy rain.
You were there for my child’s birth,
and her last breath.
The woman stands to her feet, pulls
Death up by the arms and wraps his
slender hands around her waist. You
have caused me many tears but also much
music and dancing. So, my love, hold me close
I know the steps. And so, Death did.
They waltzed through her tiny mud hut,
around and around in circles until the
candles burnt out and Death vanished
with the dripping wax.
By Megan Robinson©