The Ferrywoman

This world, it was not made for me.
It was not made for those whose oil burns throughout the night,
For those who cannot trim their wicks,
whose Darkness is ever-present.

This is a world of slick perfection,
Where the grittiness of life does not stand up to the focus-group gloss we see on TV,
A world where to be Other is to be a ghost moving through walls and windows,
A candle lit to commemorate the dead,
Reduced to just words and gestures devoid of any meaning or action,
Love for the sake of conformity and not for the sake of necessity,
No, I was not made for this world.

I was supposed to be a mother.
I was supposed to be sane.
I was supposed to be successful.
I am none of these things.
The things I am condemn me to a life forfeited,
assigned to guard the gates of hell and give treats to Cereberus,
who is an awfully good little doggy.

I had a dream once where I met Charon,
A rather nice old man, he’s happy to talk to any old soul with two bits,
A mythological phone-a-friend,
only you’re dead and he’s the Ferryman across the River Styx.
I asked him if I could have his job.
If I could ferry the dead from one shore to another,
Here a stroke, there a stroke, easy does it now.
I dreamed he said yes, and I became the Ferrywoman.
Dressed in black robes, I went back and forth across that black river, ignoring the rioting souls trapped below.
They did not pay me for their passage, and they were not my problem.
It was a wonderful dream.
That is the world I was made for, not this one.
Not this one.