Rowing Beyond Twilight

charon-ferryman-river-styx20 February 2016

‘My name?
I am Charon.
My job?
I row the souls of the dead
to the far shore.
Shades, the souls are called,
shades of their once flesh
and bones selves. Sad?
I don’t understand why sad.
They have lived their lives
of flesh. That life they have shed.
And when they come to me,
I row them ’cross the Styx,
and send them on their way,
their’s a journey that continues.

‘I like rowing.
I like being
useful to the dead,
to their shades, that is.
Like I say, they aren’t dead.
They’re just moving on.

‘Thing of it is,
I won’t ever know
what it’s like
to step on the far shore.
For it is my job, forever,
to row the Shades across
from earth to the other side.
‘Eh, I guess this is
the meaning of the saying,
“So close, yet, so far.”’

Philip Kuepper
(2 January 2016)

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