It walks in the night

when life takes its first breath.

It flies over blue and pink cribs

smiling down into their faces.

when fumbling words finally make sense

It is cloaked in black, invisible smoke.

Its aroma wines in the air

when toddlers take their first steps

in that opportune moment of bliss.


It sits at the table

glaring over Its newspaper

when children eat their first whole meal.

When they walk to school

It watches and waits silently.

Swing one Swing two

on the monkey bars

It waits to catch them as they fall.


It stares at the glass bottle

with thoughtful eyes

when they take their first sip

of old natives’ fire-water.

It wisps through the air overhead

when preteens fall in bed.

It calls on Fear to shake the night

when innocent pranks

turn into acts of spite.


It cringes at love’s first kiss

and smiles at first love’s heartbreak bliss.

when love turns to lust

It waits prudently keeping score.

while It creeps through the back door

Singing beneath the moon

pray tell it will see them soon.


It reminds them of Its presence

with a black finger

over their parents’ heads.

Drop one Drop two

When they say, “I do”

It  implies, “Me, too.”

It clings over their heirs’ hair

breathing smoke into their lungs.

It smiles as they cry

and lingers as they die alive.


when family crowds around that dreaded white bed

when that IV steadily beats

the doctor speaks of recovery.

when that face reads: “Better today,”

and smiles in comfort and  peace.

That is when

It stops




He dawns on them at night

like a pillar of relief.

He clouds the room there

with hope and delight

He fills the air

that is when they forget It lurks about.

With feelings too hard to fight

comforting their sin

while their souls He burns in.

when they lie asleep at night

and thoughts leave their head.

when they close their eyes tight

they no longer find their will to fight.

Then It strikes!

Now that’s Death at His height.


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