The Upper Room

by Daniel Parks
(Wagoner, OK)

A cold commute in predawn hours,

down urban streets, past squalid bowers.
Old buildings laced with boarded doors
and rented rooms on upper floors.
And as I passed a certain place
a lighted window slowed my pace.
For in the dark forbidding gloom,
a woman’s shadow graced the room.

Her head bowed low, hands cupped her face,
with sobbing tears she stood in place.
The dingy window, though obscured,
cast forth this scene of which I’m sure.
A lonely life, a heart distraught,
tear wetted face that love forgot.
Or might her plight still deeper be,
perhaps from life her love set free.

And as I ventured on my way
the scene beset me through the day.
I wondered this and pondered that,
could it have been a lover’s spat?
But in the morrow’s predawn hours,
down urban streets, past squalid bowers.
I kept my travel just the same,
to see the window’s dreary frame.

And there again, the upper room,
the dim lit scene of darkened gloom.
Her shadowed form again appeared,
a woman in her early years.
Not of much but this I’m sure,
her sorrow floated in the air.
My heart sank low, disparaged be,
her dreadful plight was vexing me.

And as I traveled on my way,
tormenting thoughts besieged my day.
Unfrocked fear, death’s cold sigh,
perhaps tomorrow she would die.
I made a vow within my heart
that if the scene should not depart,
then I must go and find her room,
and help console this sad heart’s gloom.

Once again the predawn hours,
down urban streets, past squalid bowers.
Like before and just the same
to see the window’s dreary frame.
And there again the upper room,
the dreaded scene of sorrow’s gloom.
Her shadowed form still in despair,
more clearly now she’s standing there.


Compelled was I beyond control
to find this sad, disparaged soul.
I trudged to find the upper room,
down dusty halls with torn festoons.
Filthy walls with trash strewn floors,
neglect of time and unhinged doors.
And though a fear now seized my heart,
from my way I can’t depart.

Then fog of light, an open door,
and scurried rats across the floor.
There in the room to my surprise,
a glowing form with crystal eyes.
Her golden hair flowed to her waist,
a gentle smile upon her face.
Her beauty far beyond compare,
a perfect angel standing there.

With one long gasp of musty air,
I knew at once why she was there.
And with her touch, my soul set free,
the Angel Death had come for me.

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