FROM THE VAULT—MY FIRST POEM

Writing

Yes, I’m a packrat, which has its drawbacks. But on the plus side, I still have an embarrassing amount of my earliest, fledgling attempts at writing. Here, for your amusement, is the very first poem I ever wrote, way back in 8th grade.

THE FALLING OF THE SPADE

I woke to a dark not lit by stars, nor by candles. In fact, was not lit at all.

No shadows were cast, not a thing did I see, as if enclosed in a great hollow ball.

The bed where I lay seemed strange to my touch, not a wrinkled cotton spread.

But the finest of satins, the smoothest of silks, as if I lay in the richest man’s bed.

And then as I stretched out my cramping arms, I found I lay not in a room.

But a box, a mere trifle, perhaps two foot by six, like the closet where the maid stacks her brooms.

All of a sudden I realized the truth, and I cowered in spasms of fright.

The bedding, the box, a coffin by God, and I cried on that blackest of nights.

Soon the air was all but gone, and the last sounds that I heard.

Were the falling of the spade, and the minister’s fitful words.

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