And so the black cloaked figure, seated on ornate throne,
Gazes at the dying black rose clutched in his skeletal hand.
The great book of Earthly lives lies open
Before him, another victim soon to be chosen from its
Well stocked pages of mortal names.
He is dreaming of events that should have been;
Before the great war in Heaven, when the angel
Lucifer was cast out and unleashed upon humanity.
And he, a gallant warrior defeated, was compelled
To serve a new master; to become the Devil’s chief
Collector of souls.
The figure suppresses a sob, but no tears will fall
From these eyeless sockets;
None have fallen for aeons.
The maiden he lost, a lover of flowers, and roses above
All others; her body’s bones long since crumbled into the
Dust of history, has never left his memory.
His guilt at having to obey the first command of Lucifer;
To take her life first, has stained his mind eternally.
But her presence has forever been with him; kept alive
In the form of the roses that he cultivates so tenderly;
Roses black to his touch.
But still, the figure is melancholy on this anniversary
Of their engagement; the day before the war.
He will gain no respite until Lucifer has no further need
For his services; and only then can he lay down his scythe
And join his betrothed in the afterlife;
Where roses are not black.