The Day Oscar Slept In

Really getting into this Daily Post thingToday’s prompt – superstition.


Oscar had a habit
Everyone thought as odd
Though to him it was a duty,
An honorary job from God.
More compulsion than a habit,
A set of specific things,
In very specific orders,
To satisfy specific kings
(Momma was religious,
Daddy did some drugs,
Throw in toxoplasmosis
And not nearly enough hugs
And you get a real strange boy,
Sweet as they can come,
But he swears he hears some voices
Coming from up above).

Every day when he wakes,
Oscar has a ritual
That over the past thirty-odd years
Has become somewhat habitual;
He knocks six times,
No more, no less
Upon his bathroom door,
Locks, unlocks, a dozen each,
The bolts of each his drawers,
He says strange words
In foreign tongue
(A canticle from the gods,
Given to him, word by word,
From the neighbor’s Shih Tzu dog).

He swore the deeds
Must be done
Before the stroke of noon,
Or else, he swore,
With a foreboding hush,
It will be mankind’s doom.
His ritual, he said, he swore,
Held back Armageddon,
Biblical prophecies
Of plagues and wars
And “Armies of flesh eatin’ deaduns!”
(His words, not mine,
I only report
What came before the fall)
And so he woke every morn,
And dutifully saved us all.

People called him crazy,
Slightly touched,
As people tend to do.
Neighbors whispered back and forth,
Doctors diagnosed him, too.
Their words were spears
Upon his flank,
But faithfully he endeared
You could take it, to the bank
He did his job, sincere.

Until that day he slept in
After a night of sinful play
Enticed by sinful neighbors
And their delightfully sinful ways.
We need not know specifics,
Of what happened all that night,
But know that Oscar faced forbidden fruit,
And Oscar took that bite.
He slept and slept and slept some more,
The morning after sin,
The hours passed, one by one,
Eight to nine to ten.
Time marched on, on to noon,
And if there’s good to this tale
It’s that Oscar died,
Asleep in bed,
With a belly full of ale.

Earth opened, oceans boiled
Swallowing cities whole.
Locusts swarmed, demons flew
Collecting hapless souls.
Beasts rose forth,
From earth and sea,
Just as Revelations told.
And we, the people,
Called him names;
We called him strange,
We called him sick,
Superstitious and odd.
Lessons learned a bit too late,
We did not think,
Not once, not ever,
That strange men
Hold worlds together.



4 thoughts on “The Day Oscar Slept In

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