Shadows in Town
As usual, they stand outside
the building, dressed in black
and squared shoulders.
I used to think they looked ominous
until it occurred to me,
they serve the living and the dead.
Passers-by never waved or give a nod.
They are treated like quarantined lepers;
and no matter how hard they work
their clients wail.
They served with distinction
but no awards are given;
and at cocktail parties,
they do not disclose what they do.
They are appreciated only
within their ranks;
they exist as shadows in town.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
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