In Irish legend, a banshee wails
around a house where someone is about to die.
Brittle bones rattle and shake,
shadow me through the windy woods.
Shiver, quiver, quail and quake.
I’d forsake my worldly goods
if I thought they would suffice.
Keening cries of the banshee
penetrate like spears of ice.
Her cloak of gray, I cannot see —
Clammy presence proves she’s here.
From her curse I cannot flee;
I must face my deadly fear.
Death of kin hails the banshee.
Is it Mother, Father, Son?
On my neck her icy breath.
My sanctuary comes undone —
journey’s end will find a death.
Nearing home I hear the wailing,
sobbing, crying, clothes are rent.
Hair is pulled, arms are flailing —
heartbreak, tears are almost spent.
How to comfort, what to say?
Grieving knows no tomorrow.
How to live another day?
Stagger on, bear the sorrow.
Silent now, sits the banshee,
hooded, faceless, cloaked in gray,
spirit that we cannot see.
Pray her presence stays away.
More than that we cannot ask
as each footstep nears the grave,
toil at every weary task;
life is meant to spend not save.
Soon enough will come the time
when others wail, sob and cry.
Drums beat slowly, church bells chime;
it will be my time to die.
Hooded, faceless, cloaked in gray
the spirit wails right on cue,
as she will some future day —
when the banshee wails for you.
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