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Sunday, November 02, 2014


by Michael Mark

Image source: Reddit

The tombstones and zombie decorations
look more scared than scary among those
living in translucent skin, rolling their
wheelchairs with skeleton hands,
gasping in their oxygen masks.

The Grim Reaper creeps along the corridors,
behind a walker, to the costume contest,
scythe taped to his back with bloody bandages.

The bedridden plead for him not to pass them by.

No one pulls back in fright or shrieks
from anything other than pain or dementia
or to let themselves and anyone else out
there know they are, for good and bad,
still alive.

Only when the grandchildren come to trick-
or-treat in their jack-o-lantern and fairy
princess costumes do their sunken eyes
rise from their sockets and their colorless
lips tremble with fear.

Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer. His poetry has appeared in Angle Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Empty Mirror, Everyday Poets, Forge Journal, Lost Coast Review, New Verse News, Petrichor Review, Scapegoat, Silver Birch Press, Red Booth Review, The thing itself, The New York Times, The Wayfarer, Work. His poetry has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.