Friday, April 8, 2011

The Tombstone Talks

Here lies the body of Jimmy I. Hives
Kept twenty-four people from ending their lives
Listened to arguments and worries, complaints
That could try the patience of the holiest saints
With his cap on his head and umbrella in hand
Old Jimmy never shirked from lending a hand
When Billy Jean cocked a gun to his own head
"Don't do it" was what Jimmy's soft voice said
When Ricky Burrito said he'd jump from a cliff
Only Jimmy could keep him from becoming a stiff
Nancy Parker slit her wrists at six by the clock
And woke up to find Jimmy had brought her the Doc
Harry Paulson's wife Linda ran off to Rome
It was Jimmy's persuasion that brought her back home
Just in time to see Harry, in his hand was a knife
No doubt about it, Jimmy saved Harry's life
Candice DeMorgan, alone at eighty-two
Says she'd have just given up if it wasn't for you know who
He visited her in hospital, sat by her white bed
Jimmy I. Hives brought her back from the dead
He argued Arnold Van Dyke's case in court like heck
And kept the hangman's noose away from an innocent man's neck
Seventeen hostages owed their very lives
To that passionate negotiator, Jimmy I. Hives
He convinced the lone gunman to lay down his gun
And let them out of that bank, one by one
On his 50th birthday, Jim was in for a treat
Those twenty-four people went over to meet
The hero, their angel who had saved all their lives
They arrived at the home of Jimmy I. Hives
They knocked and they hollered, they rang and they frowned
And finally they got Little Bobby Brown
(Who'd been snatched from in front of a speeding car
By Jimmy Boy who saw it rush at the kid from afar)
To open a window, crawl in and unlock
The door upon which twenty-four people had knocked
He did so, they came in and rushed upstairs
To the bedroom where they stopped, they stood and they stared
Until someone in quivering, grief-stricken voice said
"It's Jimmy...Old Jimmy...Jimmy Hives is dead!"
They rushed him to the hospital where the Doc sadly said:
"Cause of death: overdosed while lying in bed."
You see, poor Jimmy had always fought depression,
He fought a lone battle without any mode of expression
'Cause Jimmy had always been alone
He never ever had someone to call his own
No friends, no family, no wife, no son
Jimmy I. Hives had nobody, no one
So he tried to help others and he never complained
Although in Jimmy's life, it had always rained
But though he saved lives and became a hero to all
That didn't ease his burden, for still no one called
Him while he sat at home, alone, all alone
Staring with dull eyes at the ever-silent phone
So he wrote an apology and paid all his bills
Then lay down in bed and downed a bottle of pills
And so here lies his body, alone on a hill
Undisturbed all year long, that is until
The 31st of December, his birthday comes 'round
And twenty-four people all crowd around
And lay twenty-four roses on that single grave
For the twenty-fifth life that Jimmy I. Hives couldn't save.


  1. poignant....fascinating.....emotional....

    The narrative was so fluid that I was halfway through before I realized that it was actually poetry... brilliant.... the rhyming was effortless except perhaps when you had to keep Jimmy's surname as hives (nothing wrong.. just sounded a bit odd)..... that was when I noticed it was a poem

  2. thank you Soul_Fly. And yes, Hives was a deliberately odd name used to fit the rhyme, but the rest of the names (except Candice DeMorgan) were put down as soon as they came into my head. After all, Burrito wasn't necessary as a surname, it was just the first thing that popped into my head.