Death’s Day Off


Death woke up late one fateful day,
checked his gold pocket watch with a skeletal hand,
lit up a Marlboro with an elegant Victorian pistol lighter
and turned on his iPhone 6 with a morbid sigh.

He looked at his tediously predictable work schedule.
55 million humans were shaking in their shoes
153 million farmyard friends were sweating in the slaughterhouses
Trillions of bugs were feeling quite buggered
All these and more awaited their daily quota of doom
under death’s relentless Doc Marten boots.

Awaiting, more picturesquely one might say, the swing of
his dispassionate scythe to dispatch them to the heavens,
the netherworlds, the dinner plate, or the mouldy earth respectively.

…but Candy Crush Saga was his new addiction
and a new game was out seeking his sole attention.

He tortured himself for a few moments
with an eons old sense of grim duty
humming a tune under his dusty breath as he mused
and tapping a bony heel on his black marble floor
The circle of life … ♪ ♪ ♬ ♪… it’s the wheel of fortune…
It all depended on him, sweeping away the old
for the new, or so he had been told.

The world fervently prayed, nervously mooed, rustled and buzzed
Hoping he would just once, for the love of God,
take a well-earned day off
‘To hell with them!’ he growled churlishly
and then—a second too late—with a sheepish grin
whispered softly to himself
‘Oops, my bad…’


© Robert Lindsay, 2015

Public Domain Photo