Very appropriate to all with a terminal disease

Dennis Cardiff

In Irish legend, a banshee wails around a house where someone is about to die.

Brittle bones rattle and shake,
shadow me through the windy woods.
Shiver, quiver, quail and quake.
I’d forsake my worldly goods
if I thought they would suffice.
Keening cries of the banshee
penetrate like spears of ice.
Her cloak of gray, I cannot see —

Clammy presence proves she’s here.
From her curse I cannot flee;
I must face my deadly fear.
Death of kin hails the banshee.
Is it Mother, Father, Son?
On my neck her icy breath.
My sanctuary comes undone —
journey’s end will find a death.

Nearing home I hear the wailing,
sobbing, crying, clothes are rent.
Hair is pulled, arms are flailing —
heartbreak, tears are almost spent.
How to comfort, what to say?
Grieving knows no tomorrow.
How to live another day?
Stagger on, bear the sorrow.


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