I came to the Poetry category looking for poems to nominate and remembered reading this during the Halloween challenge, thinking it was delightfully droll. The opening lines made me laugh.
"Young Bill was dead, poor lad. They’d seen it all — the speeding car cartwheeled into the wall"
The description of the pub was "delightfully dismal," and the line "their night of gloom was not yet over" had me grinning in anticipation that was heightened by the description of a sound like rats crawling round a dumpster. :D
Your Thestral imagery was striking and, well, gorgeous, with eyes set like dragons, "fanged, but sharper still," "fiendish visions from a nightmare world."
The last stanza made me smile, thinking the men may have gone home shaken, but I was left thinking, "They got to see Thestrals, lucky sods!"
I suppose I should feel sorry for young Bill, but I'm still snickering over his death. It reminds me of a classic Northern Exposure episode where a satellite falls out of the sky, killing the boyfriend of a main character, Maggie. At the funeral, the ridiculousness of Rick's death has everyone giggling madly. I think a poem that has readers giggling while being awed by Thestrals and then envious of Muggles who don't know how lucky they were to see fantastic beasts deserves to be considered for a QSQ award. It has so many feels!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Paige, for writing a review for this poem. It was fun to write — the young men awkwardly trying to deal with the sudden loss of their friend and the social conventions that attend someone's passing, and then, in their tipsy state, seeing the thestrals in the alley. It's an experienced vouchsafed to extremely few Muggles (maybe no others than they), but how could they brag about it when nobody would ever believe them, and by the next morning they may doubt it too.
I didn't watch Northern Exposure, but I can imagine the absurdity of being hit by a piece of falling space debris. Thank you so much for the review!