Think it’s easy in this dark to row
a boat heaving with wailing souls?
You try it once, all those pennies
flying everywhere and no one but me
to keep track. Think their guide,
Mr. Psychopompous, that thief
with his sandals and wings, his stupid
snaky stick, would stoop to pick a single
rolling coin, or hurl a shrieking deadbeat
off my ferry even once? Don’t make me laugh.
Now their parching lips cry, useless
hands flit and plead for what they wouldn’t
value when their feet could tread the stony
ground. No use. My ears are stuffed with clay,
their voices less than this black water
splashing at the rhythmic pulling of my oars.
[Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published two chapbooks: My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word and My Father Had Another Eye.]