It was as if there was no step
or soft seat that did not force
the deep stab and grip of pain
in his legs and flexed parts

He had stood well for a time
but then the ill rip and burns
filled his limbs with that hurt
which fuelled flames to flare

Bad as it was – it was not Death –
He had led The Crowd to the pit
and felt his calves lock on the path –
and then sear as he held The Book

He rocked on his heels to ease it all
whilst he read to them The Truth –
as laid out in the lines for the dead –
but God’s words did not blunt it

As the Boxed Man was let loose of ties
and was set down in the earth
his own spine screamed for a seat –
or to lie flat – like those at his feet

By the time the priest got to his car
all of the Dark Cast were gone –
In the cold groan of the air con
he let one tear roll out to mourn

That was his last one for The Church
and God – both had turned their backs
to leave him to face years of ill grace
and to do him no favours.

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