David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Sin Eater


It was after the funeral service
In the church at Calder Rise,
Hoping to catch a final glimpse
Of you, where your coffin lies,
I’d waited until the others left
And the church was quiet and still,
Then crept on round to the vestry door
And felt a sudden chill.

The coffin lay unattended on
The bier, by the font,
But someone was standing over it
Not someone that you’d want,
He raised the lid and he looked on down
Where you lay in your wedding dress,
Then reached on over your folded arms
And placed some bread on your breast.

He bowed his head and he muttered words
Of some Slavic, Eastern State,
I wanted to interrupt him, but
By then, it was too late,
He took the bread and he wolfed it down
And gagged on the slice of rye,
And as he did, your body heaved
In the coffin, and gave a sigh.

‘My God, ’ I gasped, as I staggered in,
‘What awful thing have you done?
What spell could possibly interfere
With death, but an evil one? ’
He turned to me, was taken aback
That I’d seen the thing he did,
‘Don’t mess with what you don’t understand, ’
He said, then closed the lid.

He started to walk back up the aisle
But he choked, then doubled up,
He started having convulsions
Then his face became corrupt,
His brow was furrowed, his jaw was locked
With his mouth, an evil grin,
‘I’ve taken away her path to Hell, ’
He groaned, ‘I’ve eaten her sin! ’

While back on the bier the coffin lay,
Began to open its lid,
And you sat up in your shroud of death
And fluttered each dead eyelid,
You stared at me with a great intent
And muttered, with words like ice,
‘He’s eaten the sin of you and I,
So meet me in paradise! ’

Your corpse collapsed on the coffin’s side,
Your arms were reaching for me,
I backed away in a panic then
And hid in the church vestry,
We’d lain together the month before
And the sin was deep in my heart,
The Sin-Eater was dead on the floor,
My guilt would tear me apart.

I knew I would have to cleanse my soul
If you were to meet with me,
Though you were headed for paradise
I didn’t know where I’d be,
I came again when the church was dark
And knelt, where the man was dead,
Crossed myself, and I laid it down
On his chest, a slice of bread.

15 May 2014

Submitted: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Edited: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Sin Eater by David Lewis Paget )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Lengu i limonit, skender iljaz braka
  2. Larguar si djali prangprishes, skender iljaz braka
  3. Lagja ime e vjeter, skender iljaz braka
  4. Kurbatka, skender iljaz braka
  5. Love Restrained, Sangnam Nam
  6. Kur theva nje enderr, skender iljaz braka
  7. Unconditional Love, alexander thor cirera
  8. Kur te kthehesh nje dite, skender iljaz braka
  9. Kur te kendoja serenata, skender iljaz braka
  10. Kur me the te dua, skender iljaz braka

Poem of the Day

poet Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]