Inquiry: Estrangement VI – Who Shall Offer the Final Blessing

a mountain pass

by LJ Frank

This series seeks to understand some of the differing faces of estrangement and the crossroads it approaches for good or ill.

the climb and descent is steep

it matters not in the end

perhaps the mountain is really just an illusion

depending on pretext and circumstance

whom to trust as guide or mentor

no longer possesses meaning

for darkness rules

when the light is no more

the body collapsed in my arms

without anger

only hurt

and I found agony has no vocabulary

tragedy is a ruthless hunter

yet belief for some

is a soothing massage oil of the mind

still, the heart seeks depth

to fathom the nuances of a life

that was lived with dignity

amid pitiless suffering

the body contained a brain

a member of the preponderance of learners

certificated with a faux sheepskin

knowing deep within

the study of the humanities

is a bait-and-switch scheme

while the network of fair-weather friends

cast furtive glances

the therapists possessed a corporate finger

pressed against the skin

a pulse lingers then fades

for the wind blows in from afar

and the mask of death

is in want of a consoling smile

waiting for the next day’s sun to appear

for the living

and a shadow appears in the doorway

words suggesting patience

knowledge yet forthcoming

and the rigid body is silent

while lying cold on a table


tears form scars on the cheek

while the entitled bathes in the sun

and the pawn is without a voice

oh gravity! where is thy pull?

a needle sucks out the soul

in its most primitive of meaning

the body now cries in absence

the blood is mitigated with a cleansing agent

before entering the artificial bowels below the feet

and the human conscience

kneels in prayer

but God is found to be faceless

except in the human imagination

and the tears have come too late

the sacred name is a hallowed tool

and blasphemy a self-righteous game

the bread and wine is served

and the communion is an acknowledgment

the body and blood of estrangement

symbolism has gone terrifyingly awry

for the entombed body’s home

is a stranger in a strange place

and the spirit appears

only in the memory of the living –

for who shall offer the final blessing,

when all life vanishes?