Sacrificial Lamb

Sacrificial Lamb

A Poem by Taylor St. Onge

Part three of three. My final goodbye to a friend who recently lost his life to brain cancer.


I saw your dead body today.  I saw

your mother

your brother

your father           cry.

Stood back, remembered how to curl in on myself--

origami folded my tear ducts into the shape of your

bruised and beaten brain--

refused to admit to myself that the corpse in the box

looked anything like the boy I used to know.

“Cancer was stealing his youth.” 1

The Catholic Priest wearing robes mottled with red, the

coffin in slate grey, and your family donned in black; swirled together,

we looked like the somber aftermath of Chernobyl.  Father Evan

says that this is what ambivalence2 looks like.  (He says that

                you parallel Jesus, the first Christian martyr,3 “the

              true meaning of Christmas;”4 you were born with a

death sentence on your head.5)  ((I guess your parents

don’t know that

you’re an atheist.))

“Do you believe that he will rise?” 6

You are not Lazarus,

although I wish you were.

I sat in a mausoleum this afternoon.  The walls were

made of dead bodies in nice suits and nice dresses,

damned to lay with closed eyes, with puffy eyes, in coffins

for all eternity.  They did not allow us to watch your casket

get stuffed into the wall with the others.  No one watched.  Your

family left with us.  Your last few moments unburied were alone.

“Born into a world that would seek

and then take his life.” 7

I didn’t get to say one more goodbye before they closed you in on an

infinite claustrophobic trip, but I suppose all is well because

I didn’t get to say goodbye before your final breath either.  I don’t think I would’ve

wanted to see you a second time in that padded box anyhow.

Your hair was parted wrong, everyone said so.  The

makeup on you was too think, everyone thought so.  The

rosary placed in your hands was everything you would not have wanted,


(but your mother)

knew so.

“Your son meant something to me.” 8

Father Evan says that it’s okay that you’re dead now because

you’re finally without your human faults and without sin,9

but Kalena and I liked your faults and liked your sins.  I do

not want to picture you without them.  I’d rather picture

you swimming through the stars like water, envision you

lassoing up asteroids and becoming the meteor’s flaming,

falling        star        tail

                        than imagine you with

stiff hands and

closed eyes and

hair parted too much to the left.

There has never been a time when

you have not crossed my mind.

“Thank you for letting this priest ramble.” 10


1 “Cancer was stealing his youth.”

2 “Ambivalence.”

3 “The first Christian Martyr.”

4 “Helped us remember what Christmas really means to us.”

5 “Born with a death sentence on his head.”

6 “Do you believe that he will rise?”

7 “Born into a world that would seek and then take his life.”

8 “Your son meant something to me.”
9 “But without sin.”

10 “Let this priest ramble.”

© 2014 Taylor St. Onge

Author's Note

Taylor St. Onge
Any and all criticism would be cool.

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Small correction to be made: "makeup on you was too *think*, everyone thought so. The..." s/b *thick*

This is very poignant. "Your son meant something to me." Indeed! You see with a poet's heart, and you are not afraid to navigate through the waters of emotion. After reading, I feel as if your words are like a black cloak draped over that coffin, hugging your friend with your heart. It's your way of being with him after the end, after the walking away. He lives in you, blossoming eternal through your words. This is a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing.

Posted 4 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on December 29, 2014
Last Updated on December 29, 2014
Tags: death, grief, angst, funeral, friend, boy, religion, catholic


Taylor St. Onge
Taylor St. Onge

Milwaukee, WI

Hi. I like literature a lot. more..