Posts Tagged ‘anguish’

Police pound on his son’s door.

They look through windows

shouting his name

again and again.

Outside the father paces

back and forth, back and forth

the lines in his face

drawn with gravity,

his lips pulled tight.

Two silent crows

land on a nearby rooftop

then fly off to the trees.

He watches absently

like we do

when something normal happens

in the middle of awful.

Later, long after

they’ve broken down the door

and found his son alive

and the ambulance comes –

long, long after

his son has recovered

and all is well again –

years later in fact,

the father will look back

on those moments of anguish

and remember the crows.


© 2013, 2014  Betty Hayes Albright


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(for S.P., written in 1992)


Into the funeral pyre

went all he had created –

poems, books, ideas,

the imagery of his life.

None of it is real,

he cried,

except this smoke and ash!

His anguished voice

cried out into the hills

and echoed back,

a knife

to pierce his soul.

And so for many days

he ate the ash

and breathed the smoke

till nothing else remained

but one undying ember.

He sighed, and as he did

his breath fanned the glow

into a warm diamond light

that rose into the sky,

and there at last he saw it,

his own brilliance on the pages

as he took up his pen

and began to write again.


(c)  1992, 2012  Betty Hayes Albright

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