So many wander by the River Styx
because they have no coin. They died in war
plague, fire or earthquake; woke up on the shore
and learned there’s some thing that you cannot fix
with pleas or bluster. For a hundred years
their souls grown threadbare, tatters in their skin
they wander; Charon will not let them in
his boat. Their memories dissolve in tears.
Orpheus sang. The ferryman was still
a moment, then he shrugged and did not mock,
let him aboard. And after him the flock
of the forgotten dead who could not fill
the ferry. As he sang, their memories
came flooding back. You saw it in their eyes.