Charon and Psyche

Charon and Psyche, by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1883)

What kind of coins are those

that take us to the other side,

where suffering is no more?


In a hidden box inside our soul

we find the obol for the ferryman,

the demanding Charon.


Crossing the River of Death every day,

Rowing back and forth.

He´s the hooded, bent figure

we don´t wish to meet.


Gold, silver, ivory, diamond, no matter.

Moments of glory, splendor and success.

Thoughts of immortality and invincibility.

All left behind. No use to carry them.


More than any test we had to endure during our lives.

More than any moment of loneliness and desperation,

It´s the meeting with Charon we fear the most.

It´s the moment of final truth .

It´s the handing of coins,

When we´ll deposit them in his hand and dare look into his eyes

only to see

our own, distorted, face.