Cortege by Richard Magahiz

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Cortege by Richard Magahiz
Illustrated by Sue Babcock

the shapes moving in
indistinct grays
on the screen,
horses in procession
and long cars,

solemn and slow,
the crowds of people
line the wide streets,
the coffin
draped in a flag

I am
in our living room
with my father
something we know is important,

but I am too young
to know about bombs
and missile submarines
and silos
coming awake,

I don’t even know
there was a crisis
that nearly went hot
between us and
the Iron Curtain,

only that
someone had been killed
and everyone
knew about it,

the woman
draped in black –
his young widow
with children in suits,

not on horses,
not in limos,
and it looks as though
it might be cold
where they are,

and not long
after I knew enough
to draw pictures
of mushroom clouds,
the little and the big,

so strong
that even a dinosaur
screaming in rage
could not
hope to win against it

BIO: Richard Magahiz tries to live an ordered life in harmony with all things natural and created but one that follows unexpected paths. He wrangles computers as a day job but imagines a time when life might center around other things. His work has appeared at Eccentric Times 3, Shoreline of Infinity, Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, Eye to the Telescope, Call Me [When It’s Over], Haiku Pea, and ubu. His website is at