Death of a Small Town

Word goes out, and about, around town, 
promenading on the square, like the young 
and wealthy, bursting with its own self-importance. 

Death - it had been decided. 

Soon - not months, or weeks, or days, but hours. 

Included in the message - now spread like wildfire 
to the edges of town, hitching rides to the four corners 
on farmers' carts - there will be no appeal. 

There will be no reprieve. 

Nightfall - when the last kiss of orange-red warmth 
disappears behind mountains to the West - 
the sentence will carry out. 

When that time comes the townsfolk will gather - 
the privileged trying to use haughty looks and 
pointed sniffs to keep the low-born at some remove - 
but in vain, for the people keep coming 
and coming 
and coming, 
and soon silk robes rubs against rough burlap, 
perfumed musk intertwines with stable muck - 
no one would miss this moment, 
so they all press together, now silent, 
now perhaps just a touch scared. 

And then the Sun is gone. 

And then the people get what they came to see. 

Day 1 of the 31 Days of Poetry (2011)

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