The Rest of the Way

Go on the rest of the way

With your buckled boots shined so nice

Stay here you’ll have hell to pay

When the Devil exacts his price

He’s the old man round these parts

Grizzled tobacco on cracked lips

But with tales of broken hearts

From back where the Rhine writes the scripts

Junker with red suspenders

Hides his hands in his deep pockets

Sneers at his Shylock lenders

When he sees them on the dockets

Once a man with song and purse

His blood medieval pastoral

Now a refuge in his hearse

Just waiting for time’s last choral

For the Devil knows he’s spent

Pressed down by Michael’s perfumed heel

Nothing to give up for Lent

But odds and ends from an old steal

So mostly he stays hidden

A hermit in his black clunker

Till the hour that he’s bidden

To leave his snow covered bunker

And stroll down this very trail

His footsteps covered by snow drift

His limp leaves behind no braille

Nothing a prospector may sift

So if you stand there alone

Ignoring the lion in the snow

You will smell his rancid foehn

Too late when he grabs your elbow

And hauls you back to his den

His old country grip still so strong

And packs you away with a wren

The old bird he keeps with his bong

You’ll find his hearse cramped and cold

Your new bed a gilded coffin

Stuffed with skulls still to be sold

Each marked: auf ein Wunder hoffen

You will die slowly in there

Hearing him whistle lullabies

Your last act a blank eyed stare

Your deep sockets a home for flies

So avoid that telltale fate

Do not add your skull to his charge

Go on up to the old gate

Where your heaven awaits writ large

Published by Michael Sean Erickson

I write, act, and produce films in Los Angeles. Everything else is conjecture.

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