A Rat Race

Death was standing by the window,

looking down where the street lights

flickered across the night sky,

it was indeed a rat race,

pace after slow steady pace,

deceit had been standardized,

some crimes made sense,

this one was bizarre, cloudy, dense,

it was a horrifying attack,

two young boys shot in the back,

a small, waver sound of protest

passed his lips,

the boys were belly down,

on the ground,

and over size belts wrapped their hips,

death was curious in a morbid way,

with nothing to say,

he glared at the coagulated red pool,

he could have been two thousand yards away,

it wouldn't have mattered,

death was there to stay,

only in a rat race,

is where death and life can meet

face to face.




© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 30 comments

annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

Powerful poem. The atmosphere is heavily indignant.

This reminds me of 'The Book Thief', only in that Death narrates the story and is sometimes loathe to take the bodies as he thinks it's not their turn!

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you annart :) bless you


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Grim but fantastic, Frank. I can see Death looking down at the corpses, feeling all satisfied at his work. Well done my friend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

I like this poem Frank.. Even though as Bill described it as "grim"...good work, I always look forward to your next hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

" death and life meet face to face", powerful stuff Frank. How sad this is all too common in real life, but you, master craftsman have written it into a beautiful, twisted poem.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I was scanning through your writings just a few minutes ago and didn't see this; then noticed in my email and had to sign back in to read it and comment; knowing it would be worth it. And it was.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Wow, Frank this was heavy. I guess there are many rat races throughout the world, people living in the ghettos, just another killing. Well done. Awesome vote...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Billy and Jodah.. for visiting my page


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Till and Jackie for visiting my page


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much always good to see you :)


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, on the Mean Streets, death is always hovering, never having long to wait. Hard hitting poem, impressive writing.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wow! Powerful, meaningful and profound. You cause us to think, yet again, Frank, which is one of the reasons I am such a fan of your work. Voted up +++.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you for your kind comment Tobusiness and Genna East.. way too kind :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Hey Frankie good day to you ;) I certainly do not want to get caught up in that rat race but i guess some people really run this life with a fast pace, most times when they do their life span is cut short.

Thanks for sharing .

Ladyfiddler :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Lady :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Only in a rat race: "some crimes made sense," "two young boys shot in the back." So chaotic (like your picture) even death seems confused. Lord, have mercy!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you msdora for stopping by :)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

Oh how sad!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, dear Frank, you made death have a personality all its own! Clever and intriguing poem. You are an excellent writer to create that abhorrent atmosphere.

Blessings


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much uban.. and always good to see you Faith :)


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 2 years ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Hmmm, death portrayed as an actual character, observing the world it operates in, evaluating the rat race, understanding the rat race? Then life is introduced as a character as well. Interesting perspectives, Frank. I hope I've understood it as you intended. And even death objects sometimes, "a small, waver sound of protest passed his lips." Well done and creative.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Cam.. you are dead on...:)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Such a sad write--grim--I think Bill said it--but you do this genre so well--


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Audrey :)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

So sad and powerful. You're a fantastic writer, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

flourish good to see you..thanks and bless you :)


Ariel-Cal profile image

Ariel-Cal 2 years ago from Bridgeport, CT

Thumbs up!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks again A-C bless you


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 19 months ago from Dallas, Texas

The numbers of those who die young and as the victims of violence are staggering. You've described all the emotions with this one.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks pegcole for stopping by

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