Grimly they go forth
With rakes rather than sickles,
Reaping the frail dry remains
With deep sighs and much perspiration.
There are so many!
They were vibrant in life,
Red and yellow and orange and green
But they all came to the same end.
Now they await their destiny,
Gathered in uneven piles…
And there are so many!
Children are oblivious to the ritual,
Throwing themselves on the growing piles
With much laughter and crunching
Until the adults regain control
And murmur as they re-rake:
How can there be so many?
Finally the offering is made,
Flames crackling and smoke rising…
But to no avail.
Despite the sincerity of their offerings,
Another will be required next week.
And the Reapers mutter this benediction
As they wander away
And ponder their lot in life:
Why must there be so many?