Surprise Ending

A poem by Stacia Littlefield

When the skin tears from its sleeve, when the rip is long and deep
The body whitens, puckers in horror,
And the Blood takes its own sweet time seeping out
Darker than a red red rose.

By rights it bleeds and bleeds and bleeds
Shocks, laments in crimson tears.
And now it runs its race with zeal
Bursts bandages trying to cotton the shrieks.

Don’t smother the sorrow that must be heard
Don’t beat back the Blood that must run down
Don’t say it is not when it clearly is The—
Is it not The End?

But now the red flow thickens
Slows, loses heart, is whisked into peaks.
The Blood brittles. The wound littles,
And gradually closes its mouth.

The fire is buried in ash, in scab
The scab is vetted and fretted away
And only a long strike of lightning stays
That memory may always remain.

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