He’s Gone

In darkened room
I lie, willing blackness
to obliterate blackness.

A scream, unearthed
from dankness
shatters the silence,
echoes off heartless walls,

shock waves reverberate
relentless torment

seventeen years…
committed, no…

ripped away

leaving me


I fall, spiral
reel out of control

breaking down

the children will return
the house will fill again,
and I will pick up
these shards,
piece together
some semblance
of normalcy,
and begin
to rebuild

in the dark.

(Written for dVerse pub, where Lillian is hosting with a challenge to focus on time:  “To everything there is a season…”)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

57 thoughts on “He’s Gone”

  1. There is a lot of grief and pain in your words. I hope that writing poems like this has brought forth a sense of peace for you. I know that writing can help me to better understand what I have experienced.

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  2. There is no time scale for grief, often we have to pick up and move on before we finish processing. I really like how you organized this piece, the spacing between the lines when you are alone with your grief, and then all the lines without spacing at the end when you just have to get on with life. It really enhances the feeling.

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  3. “Our children are not us”–true dat’. I’m happy that the poem is configured out of old pain, because as a good poet, you present pain to us as a slice of reality. “Write what you know”,the teachers say–cool, but what about fantasy, Sci Fi, Gothic, Westerns and such.

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  4. A beautiful and heartbreaking piece. I look forward to reading your work. Such a relief to hear people speak painful truths….I think our facebook “look at my happy life” focus in this country is doing is damage in many ways.

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  5. This hits hard. The way it doesn’t end on a purely optimistic note is especially good. Children have their own lives to live, they can never remove the darkness of the seventeen ‘wasted’ years.

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      1. I’m imagining, VJ. I’ve been lucky in some of my choices. But the idea of individuality is the same. Our children are not us, interchangeable. They’ll go their own ways and we have to deal with our sorrows in our own way.

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  6. Oh how the dank dark helps us appreciate the bright of the day and the bright of our lives. This is the sting and reality of life….. sending warm mid week wishes!

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  7. I lost my husband of 23 years when I was just 45. I so resonate with what you’ve written … and now, in retrospect, knowing indeed it is possible to rebuild.

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  8. one season ends and another begins, life is marked by those and how we cope with change, there’s much strength and encouragement in your words for me

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  9. Some seasons indeed dark. Yet the darkness eventually yields to a new light as we accept the dark. Your poem takes me back to the 1979 night my husband cleared his closet and walked out – leaving me and our 2 kids. One of the first lights to come on was the realization that I now had BOTH SIDES of the walk-in closet; I proceeded to claim one little advantage after another.

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    1. That made me chuckle – both sides of the closet – how our resilience kicks in. This was written about my husband leaving (although he moved the kids and I out, but same concept).

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