Rachelyn farrell

Research Scientist
Narrative Intelligence Lab
University of Kentucky
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The Not-So-Dearly Departed

It was dark at dusk in downtown Denton
and damp in the ditch where the dew had not drained,
and, as dead as the dirt daubers down in the trenches,
lay Duchess Delaney of Denton’s remains.

Once white were the dresses now drenched by the grime
of the muddy recesses of Mortimer Lane,
and morbid the dirges entrenched in the minds
of the dutiful Dents, who as yet did not deign

to recover her royal remains from the road
and return her to rest where the room would not rain–
to deliver the dirty cadaver to Duke
Delaney of Denton’s unknowing disdain.

For long had she scoffed at their plights and their troubles.
Their fights were but scuffles; their furies were feigned.
Her scorn for the voices she’d forcibly muffled
had doomed her to die in the drunkard’s domain.

And so, as the tyrant lay splattered in dung,
the most decent of Dents did not stoop to restrain
from savoring the sweetness that tingled their tongues
as the dearly departed laid rest to her reign.