John-Ward Leighton


I was only out to fulfill my duty
as faithful consumer
I know in this corporate fascist world
I’m no longer a citizen
and was obeying the oft spoken command
“Shut up and buy.”
and if you have no money
“Shut up and die.”
Surrounded by the bogus religious promise,
for all true believers
“There will be pie in the sky
when you die
lucky guy.”

He trudged down the rain slick street, belching with every step, his punishment for the gross sin of Papa Burger and fries. A sharp pain started at his right wrist and travelled at light speed up his arm.

“I’m having a heart attack,” he thought and fumbled for his phone to call 911.

He put down his bags and thought, “Is this my time to go?” and “Do I care?”

The pain stabbed him in the chest and he wished he had a, “Do not resuscitate,” sign to hang around his neck.

It felt like a horse had kicked him in the chest and his last thought whispered as the pavement came up to meet him was, “So this is it.”

Would that the actual was as simple as the imagined. I have excuses out the ying yang for hanging around a little longer: Books to publish, poems to write, photographs to take, Grand children to see, adventures to pursue. And in my bag, books to read and add to the overwhelming clutter on my bookshelves.

Besides there is nothing heroic about a death by Papa Burger and fries.

Photograph ©Copyright 2011 by John-Ward Leighton
Photograph ©Copyright 2011 by John-Ward Leighton

This poem inspired the response, “Possible Death By Papa Burgers And Fries” – ©Copyright January 29, 2011 by William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD