David Lewis Paget
Last Words - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The ice drew lace on the window panes
We couldn’t see out for a week,
The air had frozen and blocked the drains
And my tears were ice on my cheek.
‘Come back to bed and forget her now
She’s been gone since the crescent Moon,
Her passing has freed you from your vow
Yet your grief’s pervading the room.’
‘I need to know what was in her mind
On the day that she passed away,
She left no message of any kind
Why she swallowed the draught that day.
But you were there when she combed her hair,
You were there for the last words said,
She must have told of her deep despair
Or she wouldn’t have ended dead.’
‘You knew my sister had many moods,
You knew, before you were wed,
She’d lie, consulting the ancient runes
While hiding deep in her bed.
Her superstitions were known, it seems
Her hold on the world was loose,
She drifted half in and out of dreams
But death was what she would choose.’
I shook my head and I walked away,
And ploughed through the drifted snow,
Crunched a trail through the empty streets
To the cemetery gates at Stowe,
The clouds were grey in the sky above
And the snow built up in the trees,
While headstones peered from their icy tombs
Like sinners, down on their knees.
I scraped the ice from the headstone face
That said ‘Elizabeth Jane, ’
‘An Angel fallen to earth, ’ it said
‘While her heart was wracked with pain.’
A shadow fell on the marble face
As I turned, but no-one was there,
Then words appeared like an act of grace,
‘My sister killed me - Beware! ’
The horror showed on my face, I rose
To follow the tracks I’d made,
But somebody else had left their prints
Leading away from the grave,
The tracks were made at a frantic pace
And they forged on way ahead,
Leading me through the cemetery gates
But Elizabeth Jane was dead!
A storm blew up on the way back home
And had turned the house to ice,
I forced my way up the frozen stairs
To confront Margot Desize.
But she lay frozen with eyes a-stare
And a glance said she was dead,
The horror fixed in her final glare
As a shadow stood by the bed!
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