End of Days by Jim Vaughn


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Upon a throne of cardboard he sat, unassuming, vigilant, peering into the darkened alleys crowding the town.
His hopes hang loosely from him like the lucky brand jeans he found in the can behind the hotel.
His dinner, saffron rice fit for a king, bits of carrot sticks discarded by a bourgeois tourist, half empty bottle of port found in the park.
His eyes gleaming spot the discarded pamphlet, explaining to all that would read it that salvation is just a mere cry to god away.
Pondering, he remembers what salvation was to him, acceptance, respect, unconditional love. Now, all salvation is to him is decaying meat found in the dark byways of his life.
Once proud and independent, his life reverts to transgressions, cajoling people at the market, breaking into carts for a warm place to sleep.
His god, cruel and unmerciful some would say, has said these things are an abomination, yet since the fall of his land this is all there is for him.
Unsafe from all the dark minions of war, he watches all that come near with cynicism, waiting for the moment they shall try to recruit him into this cruel game.
Knowing that his god approves, comforts him not, no more than the twisted words of solidarity he hears spewing from their mouth does.
Caught in between factions, in a town whose lines are drawn by people he has no court with, he sits on his cardboard throne awaiting his end of days.