Aphelion Issue 224, Volume 21
December 2017 / January 2018
 
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One Summer Night

by Ron Larson

Adapted from a story by Ambrose Bierce


Harry Armstrong was buried, but he was not yet dead.
He was aware of his sad state, but not greatly concerned,
Since he was very ill; he knew that death was just ahead.
But the sound of digging overhead caused hope to return.

The recently disturbed soil offered little resistance.
Two medical students, with the graveyard’s good caretaker,
Removed it quickly, and then, at the latter’s insistence,
Gently opened Harry’s coffin, thinking he’d met his maker.

But to their shock and amazement, the corpse sat bolt upright,
Rubbing his eyes like a real sleepy head; one student fled.
The other was frozen in place, that sultry summer night.
Swinging a spade, the caretaker roared: “You gotta be dead!”


2017 Ron Larson

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