Waiting on Charon

by Dr. Agonson

I sat the night with you
I am sure you are not there
for your breath is no more
and yet there you work

You work without sound
You work without joy
I should put Charon’s payment
Over your eyes and leave

But I hope you are not yet so gone
You are not so far from me
So I might remember what I was
I might remember what is dead

I sat up tonight with myself
for nobody knows what’s inside
I mourn what was, this price to pay
I sleep no more for night is day

And with my last breath I tried
to remember, to come alive,
but the dead do not know,
all that’s living must die.

Surely if I had seen another way
even now would I turn from my path
But for these coins over my eyes
I could have seen what lay beyond me

Now I turn to walk away from dreams
to leave bright night, to leave dark day
to find out if there is someone to pay
so my debt will not be forever with me

This debt is blinding, I know not how,
if by darkness or brilliance it works.
All I know is I can’t see
but whoever knew the dead to see?

Whoever knew the dead to speak?
Who knew we could walk a path?
Or is it just me who wanders,
wanting to pay this blighted toll?

But the ferry never comes
I hear no paddling oar
no slosh of waves and sand
no sound of bow meeting shore

Charon never comes for us
the dead must be forgotten.
Perhaps that world is filled
and he no more comes to this shore

So the dead tarry here unseeing
and their payments never fulfill.
We walk about with coins for eyes;
the sleepless dead arise.

Time will tell if there is someone,
the King who owns this road,
who I can pay to walk it, but
for now I hold what’s His

How can I see, to know who
to seek this path-maker
how can I render His due,
If I see not for this payment?

I must pay it to see, and find
I must see Him to pay my toll
How can it be I am on a road
with a toll to give and lack?

Who let the dead walk about
without some guide for us to follow?
Wherefore these coins be over my sight
that I may not know where I am?