“Elegy Waiting”

He cannot
Sleep a peaceful sleep
Haunted by dreams
Of the sickle
And the family it reaps
While his mother presses
Him tight to her chest
Saying sweetie, it was only a dream
Shh, everything will be okay.

         Somewhere else
         A boy keeps
         Himself from similar sleep
         Counting backwards sheep
         And pinching his cheek
         His wrenching guts inside
         Mean all this will never subside.

The next day
His mother tries
To feed him
He refused
She can’t punish
Him though
Cause she loves him so
He knows
So he grins
And wins
What he seeks
From her
Taking it all
For granted
What is
Here tomorrow.

         Somewhere else
         A boy keeps
         Himself from sleep
         As it whispers
         The nightmares are all true
         In the winds it blew.

For her birthday
His mother
Words written
Oh so carefully
He gives her a card
With words written
Momma I love you
Oh so terribly.

         Somewhere else
         A boy keeps
         Himself from sleep.

Time ticks
And takes:
He now eats
On his own
To prove
He could listen.

         The nightmares are all true
         Whispers the winds it blew.

More ticking
And taking:
He now tries
To write words
More carefully
For his mother
All alone
In his room
About bright colors
And pretty flowers
In bloom
So she knows
He loved her
Oh so dearly.

         Somewhere else
         A boy keeps
         Himself from sleep
         And begins to weep
         Counting backwards sheep
         While the reaper’s sickle sweeps.

Time gives to ticking
Ticking to taking
And when all is
Taken to darkness
He sees
The boy
Somewhere else—
Sees not another place
But another time
Where whining winds blow
This part is the nightmare, you know
And shuddering
Softly sings
Himself to sleep
He shouldn’t
Disturb another
Damned soul.

Then wakes as he did
As a boy
One morning in May
While his mother presses
Him tight to her chest
Saying sweetie, it was only a dream
Shh, everything will be okay.

        Still somewhere else
        A boy goes back
        To his room
        After night’s
        Long gone
        And places the prettiest
        Flower in bloom
        In his window
        Saying oh so
        Sweetly under his breath
        So only one soul sees the secret
        Momma it was only a dream
        Momma I finally ate my greens
        Momma I wrote a poem
        Momma, Momma please know
        I always, always
        Loved you so.

7 responses to ““Elegy Waiting”

  1. Thank you. I’m both sorry and (un)sorry that this made you cry–glad that it moved someone, but at the same time no one should ever be happy if someone is crying–okay, I’m going tangent now, anyways, glad you were moved and thank you for commenting. I hope my mom is proud of me. This was a hard poem for me to write–not because the subject matter was difficult to write about but because I didn’t want to do a poem on something so close to myself unless I could do it justice–I hope I did. This is one I’ll probably always be over-critical of since it is such a close one. Nonetheless, thank you again for taking the time to comment–it means so much to me.


    • I definitely understand being over-critical of poems that are really close to your heart. I am the exact same way, which is actually why I haven’t posted anything hitting too close to home. I commend you on your bravery in that aspect and for your honesty in your poetry– it’s what makes poetry worth reading.

      • I agree with your last statement totally, and following that train of thought, I think you should definitely start posting some poetry that you feel is close to your heart. I’d love to read them.


  2. I’ll take you up on that offer, but I’ll have to do some major revisions first. I’ve been writing poetry since I was really young, and back then, and through most of high school even, it was only for myself, so it was brutally honest, but not well developed or artfully crafted, but the more my friends wanted to read my poetry, and the more i started taking classes in college about writing where I’d have to share my work with the class, the less and less honest my poems became. In fact, a lot of my poems didn’t involve me much. So, I’ll definitely start working on becoming more open in my poems, but it may be a little while before any of them make it up on my site. Thanks for your encouragement though, it’s a push in the right direction if I ever want my poetry to be any good.

  3. I’ll make you a deal. I haven’t been writing nearly as long as you have (only since bout junior year of high school) but I’ll post some poems back then raw and unedited if you do. You can always edit later if you want to–it’d be interesting to see the contrast. And about poems not about yourself, many great poems are never about the writer–in fact, until the confessionists not many poems had the writer as a subject. So no pressure to write about yourself I guess is what I’m saying

  4. Wow…ok. you have yourself a deal. I’ll post one. I just send you an email about something else, but I’ll post one. It’s nothing really deep, insightful, or anything. Glancing back at it, it’s just the wonderings of a shy tenth grader with a huge crush. It’s pretty sappy, I’m warning you.

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