Gleaming black with royal sheen
your feathers slicked and tamed
you strut the stage of life’s last days-
beside the hearse you stand.
A nod, a bow, the words polite
but nought is truly named,
you know your part, repeat the steps
and smile at this old game.
Your forehead full of sympathy,
dark eyes kept shaded still
beneath the cap of glistening black
which boasts authority.
And in this still, hard, silent place
the past cemented fast
you hold close guard on ceremony-
repeat for death, the dance.