Aphelion Issue 250, Volume 24
May 2020
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A Night in the Catacombs

by Ron Larson
Adapted from a story by Daniel Sanford

I never knew the fostering care of a father.
His sudden death made a recluse of my mother.
I grew up with a great sense of self-importance,
Because my weird guardian convinced me of this.

She steeped me in deep, horrible folklore,
So I would pore for hours over blood and gore.
I was quite fearful of death and also of life.
My few acquaintances thought my mind wasn’t right

Then one day I went to the Parisian catacombs.
I wasn’t all alone, so I felt right at home.
The skulls, bones and strangers symbolized how I lived.
I was living death in life; something had to give.

When I got lost there, at first I was horrified.
Then my lantern died; my horror was magnified.
For six long hours, I was in this intense state.
At last, I decided to just sit down and wait.

Peace descended upon me like a snow-white dove.
What I was afraid of was friendship and love.
I left the grave, made friends and found a loving wife
. So I learned that, until we die, it’s all life.

2019 Ron Larson

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