Oh come, please come, to the Poor Mouth Fair
Where the Saints kneel round in their underwear
And say out prayers that most need saying
For needful sinners who’ve forgotten praying;
And in every alcove and niche you spy
The living dead who envy the long since gone
Who never wished to die.
And from above a voice fused half in iron
Half in irony gives man a dreadful choice.
The role is his, it says, Man makes and loads his own strange dice,
They sum at his behest,
He dooms himself. He is his own sad jest.
Let go? Let be?
Why do you ask this gift from Me?
When, trussed and bound and nailed,
You sacrifice your life, your liberty
You hang yourself upon the tenterhook.
Ray Bradbury was 91.