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T h e   S e r p e n t 

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the sun sets slowly

and darkness replaces the shadow

from which you emerge

candles flicker in corners

heavy tapestries, rich in stories, adorn the walls

feel stone floors, see gilded furniture

an old man silently moves to the window

to look into the night

he gazes at the sky, the stars and the planets

the moon rises from the east

reflecting his lost love on the stone rampart

his timeless vigil continues

clouds march across the heavens

night fliers search for prey

memories flood and subside with audible sighs

he returns to his throne in the empty hall

echoes hide around corners

warmth is banished by the serpent of cold

memories of love consumed by the serpent

wrapping and crushing those thoughts

that honor what once was

spiders rapidly fill the hall with silk

entombing those joyful times

with webs of sorrow and despair

face of pain and suffering

gnarled hands spasm, quietly slumping

time slowing, breath rattling

eyes lose focus, thoughts diminish

tunnel of light

burnished gates

swung open with trumpets

embracing his empress again

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p o n

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copyright Patrick O'Neil

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