Peter Skrzynecki


Death and the Maiden (after Matthias Claudius and Franz Schubert) - Poem by Peter Skrzynecki

Death speaks softly
like an old friend that visits
without giving notice—
that enters the house
without first knocking
or waiting to be asked in.

The voice that calls out
is that of a young girl
who asks Death to go away—
she pleads her youth,
calls Death "the dear one"
and speaks against being touched.

Death continues to speak
lovingly and tells her
not to be afraid—
that Death will comfort her,
give courage
and promises she will sleep:

after all, Death is the old friend
to whom the door
was always left open—
trustworthy, reliable, punctual.
A violin's notes stab the air sharply
Death speaks for the last time.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 9, 2017



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