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Guides for the Soul


Who thickens from the shadows as you die?

Who silences your comprehending cry?


Emblem of all you lost and now inherit,

What psychopomp attends your parting spirit?


The unattainable beloved who

Usurped your life once, and eluded you?


The worshipped clerisy, your sacred dead

Oracular inside your dreaming head?


They may be there lost somewhere in the host

Of those who welcome your convulsive ghost.


It is a crowd that parts for you, a throng

Among whom now, forever, you belong:


They are the pleas you had no patience for,

The pathos you brushed off:  the waiting shore


Is filled with those you failed.  You recognize

The sum of what you are in their blank eyes.


Dick Davis



Dick Davis; originally printed in The Hudson
.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

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