Tuesday, December 27, 2016


by alice marston sternwall

agatha was a solemn child
with no desire to run wild
while other children played with balls
agatha dreamed of stately halls

lined with books by ancient sages -
how she longed to turn the pages
containing the wisdom of the ages -
agatha’s life went by in stages

she remained solemn as she grew
she loved the old and scorned the new
and ne’er embarked on slope so slippery
as caring ought for fads or frippery

if romance ever touched her heart
she gave no sign, but played the part
of one whose only love, forsooth
was pursuit of eternal truth

agatha gained a name of sorts
the god of fame with her did sport
two books of epigrams, quite terse
spread slowly through the universe

a fearful illness wracked her being
she realized her days were fleeing
doctors and priests alike she spurned
but sought to gather all she’d learned

into a final testament -
then to her acolytes she sent
an invitation to attend
a gathering before her end

attracted by her flickering flame
the mothlike followers duly came
and found poor agatha almost gone
with little hope for the next dawn

they gathered round, from many nations
when to their sudden consternation
a violent storm outside was heard
obscuring the sibyl’s final words

then when the thunder did retreat
the faithful begged her to repeat
her prophecy - but , broken-hearted
found agatha’s spirit had departed

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