01 Feb My Senile Mother Wrote Me a Poem on Her Deathbed
Fifteen years ago, my mother died from a horrible case of dementia. The doctors said she was abnormally young, the youngest in the state in fact, to be taken by the disease. I was only seven years old at the time. I remember her shakily handing me a neatly folded piece of paper on the day she died. On it was a poem, which my father said she wrote the same day. He saw her write it, but did not read her words. According to him, I was the only person she wanted to see it. I didn’t understand it then, and promptly tucked it away. It was a symbol for my loss, and I would rather look at pictures of the two of us together than read some cryptic rhymes written by a senile young woman on her way to the gates. Well, I found the poem last week and I think it was a prophecy. I think my mother wrote about the extinction of the human race.
“Ten wings shall fall into the sea, One thousand angels made, And one step closer man will be, To final judgement day.
The ground will shake, Build ocean wake, And sink a spit below. The snow will melt, Above Earth’s belt, And glacial frost will flow.
The dark will show up early twice, Our distant light will hide, And one of ten who eats the rice, Will grimly smear their pride.
The last hoorah, Our final straw, A virus named for beer, Will sweep the land, Mutate again, And end our short stint here.”
The last stanza of the poem is what stood out to me the most: “A virus named for beer”. In my mind, that could only be referring to the current Coronavirus that is sweeping through China and beginning to rear its head in other countries, including the United States. That line prompted me to research the others. I wanted to see if other events paralleled her poem. Not only did each event happen, and after my mother passed away, but they occurred in the order she wrote them…
“Ten wings shall fall into the sea, One thousand angels made,”
During the course of a single December week the same year my mother died, five airplanes crashed. Three in the Atlantic Ocean, one in the Pacific (to Honolulu from LAX), and one in the Indian. I added up the death tolls from each crash and the total casualty count for humans came to 994. Obviously, that didn’t add up, so I dug a little deeper. Turns out that, between the five planes, there were six therapy dogs onboard. All were lost. That makes one thousand deaths, or, one thousand angels made.
“The ground will shake, Build ocean wake, And sink a spit below.”
Three years after my mother died, a category 7 earthquake rocked the Pacific Ocean, causing major unrest along the fault line and, inevitably, unleashing a tsunami. There was no damage to property or loss of life as the wave surged West toward the Phillipine Sea. It died out just before reaching the Northern Mariana Islands. The only adverse effect of the tsunami, which was not sensational enough to be covered by most major news networks, was the loss of Soloman’s Shoal; a tiny outcrop of sand and tropical shrubbery that once rose from the sea a few dozen miles off the coast of Guam. Thanks to the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, however, that small spit of land was reclaimed by the deep.
“The snow will melt, Above Earth’s belt, And glacial frost will flow.”
This section was the most apparent. My mother was talking about global warming and the melting of ice caps and glaciers, but it seemed a bit too vague. Only upon further research did I discover that, two years after the tsunami that sank Soloman’s Shoal, an entire glacier melted in Alaska. It liquified so quickly that an entire town was washed away by the runoff that cascaded down the mountain. 27 angels were made that day.
The dark will show up early twice, Our distant light will hide,
There have been five total solar eclipses since the day my mother passed away. Usually, scientists have a complete understanding of them, calculating the start, totality, and end times of each eclipse down to the second. The first miscalculation, which happened only weeks after the glacier in Alaska melted, was nearly two days off. It was predicted to begin on a Saturday afternoon but started late Thursday evening. The next, and subsequent, eclipse, blocked out the light of the sun an entire week early.
And one of ten who eats the rice, Will grimly smear his pride.
Last year, a nasty bacteria was discovered on a strain of wild rice native to a small subregion of Central India. Although rarely exported, the rice is a dietary staple of the area’s residents. Out of 50,000 people, 5,000 became ill from eating the rice. Symptoms of the illness were flu-like and surfaced rapidly after consumption, meaning that many carriers did not make it to the bathroom before evacuating their bowels. To sum it up; one out of ten people who ate that specific subset of wild rice shit their pants. I can’t think of any worse way to smear one’s pride.
I understand how crazy this all sounds. My mother was a very sick woman when she died. Her brain was deteriorating and most of the words that escaped her mouth at the end were nothing but nonsense. But if you follow the pattern, if you truly comprehend the words in the poem and their parallels to recent events, then there is only one conclusion. We—human beings—are nearing the end of our short stint on this planet. And worse, the event that will wipe us out has already begun.