© Joanna Parypinski
The procession snakes down the street,
tip-toeing on cloven feet.
Bulbous unblinking eyes track
the lemmings, the hearse. The black
river carves away the shadows. There
used to be darkness in the still gray air,
but now, like an open wound, it has all bled
away. The Devil is dead.
Tearless eyes in pairs stare
as the funeral plods across the square.
They watch the cruel bumper sneer,
the angry headlight-eyes, the austere
shine of the gleaming skin drawn
over metal skeleton. The hearse slouches on.
God didn’t show; he’s probably running late,
stuck in traffic. The world doesn’t wait
for an audience. As the parade snakes away
the people go about their day,
brew a pot of coffee, read the funnies, take
the dog for a walk. And if they shake
their heads and sigh, it’s because He never showed,
and they gaze down the now-empty road
and think, as the sun slides from the east,
of the great indifference of the beast.