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SPOILER ALERT: If you’re new to the Death Coach poetic mini-saga, you may want to scroll down to the previous blog where the story begins.


The haggardly death coach
if you let her come in, you’ll hear
an uncomfortable barking of sin
at her heels wearing faces of all

Baba Yaga, the famous Slavic death coach, lives in a hut that stands and runs on chicken legs.

that you wanted and got, and
the ones you discarded to
follow a new set of—

Not! Mustn’t go there, says who.
Who said that? Nobody. No body,
no spirit cuts us from ourselves
but our selves, we are born with a
pair of retractable eyes with layers
of lids to affect a disguise of
disinterest, desire, whatever might
serve us; the lies and the truths
they are bound to build up, and
the death coach she sees them
and chops them to digestible bits
or assigns them to slots in
appropriate seasons and whispers
with deep and lascivious glee:
wanting is holy, yes, wanting
is Meeeee…tee, hee, hee, hee!

Alas, the thought, the mere notion
of harnessed emotion released
by a crone with a passion for
calling attention to tension sends
most mortals running in search
of a group with a steeple or
bottle, some form of escape we
can make at full throttle, for surely
if God, if there be such a thing,
didn’t mean what he said about
will being free, or we’d all become
savages, cokeheads and slumdogs…

and while your mind conjures lists
of the terrible things you would do
to the world, were you given the key
to unclad liberty, the death coach
she cackles and rattles a pair of
dice carved from juvenile alligator
teeth, and she throws them…

[to be concluded]

© Elaine Stirling, 2012