Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Obituary New Murfin Verse—National Poetry Month 2021

Short and maybe not so sweet.  The concluding words of this piece came to me in a dream and were only preserved because I woke and scrawled them on a bedside scrap of paper before they evaporated as most dreams do.  The words were maybe better suited for the lyrics of a George Jones song than a poem

For months my dreams have flirted around with the Coronavirus pandemic, but this apparently had nothing to do with those.

I do not know a Billy James, or anyone quite like him, but I knew what this imagined notice told me.  I do know that despair, alienation, addiction, and suicide take far too many young lives.



There it was

            crowded in a bottom corner

            of the obit page

            lost amid the septuagenarians

            and former pillars

            of the community.

            No picture.


“William (Billy) James, 23     

            died unexpectedly Monday.

            no arrangements pending.”


Died unexpectedly—

            code words for suicide

            or O.D.


No family acknowledges him,

            estrangement now permanent.


No alma mater, service flag

or accomplishments,


Billy lost his last battle

            with loosing.


—Patrick Murfin


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