Mortality on a Wednesday

by Sally Zakariya


Mortality on a Wednesday


Death sat waiting at the bus stop

this Wednesday morning


I almost missed him –

he looked so ordinary

just any man in a black hood

so capacious it canopied

his gaunt features


I sat down beside him

occupied with the usual

day-to-day matters

errands and dinner

and so forth – maybe

a thought or two of love

but not of mortality


I didn’t recognize him

at first because the scythe

was hidden – he might

have been almost any

robed figure stepped down

from a stained-glass window

one of the three wise men

perhaps but I don’t think

of Death as particularly wise

being so indiscriminate

in his visitations


I take that same bus

most days and

for all I know

he does too


Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some 75 print and online journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent publication is Muslim Wife (Blue Lyra Press, 2019). She is also the author of The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, When You Escape, Insectomania, and Arithmetic and other verses, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table. Zakariya blogs at


%d bloggers like this: