Alone

Tonight at dVerse, our hostess, Victoria Slotto, invites us to write something with voice, passion–something about which we are motivated, inspired, excited, or outraged. This one is not really up to those standards, but it is about an event that held deep feeling for me at that time of my childhood. And I think it does ring with my voice, such as it is (that is, I think it’s typical of the kind of stuff I usually write!). Come share with us!

Alone
That blazing afternoon
when I chased an ill-thrown ball
into the front yard, and saw
your shoes beside our car’s
open door, your upturned
purse, and you were nowhere,
and what can you expect
from a boy weaned on
Armageddon and the Imminent
Return of Almighty Christ?
In the twinkling of an eye,
we were told, and the blood
rushed to my hair-tips, and I looked
for you, would not be comforted.
And later, you came home and told us
how you saw little Randy
running across the street, careless,
and the black low-slung sports car
screeching, flinging him into the air,
and before he came tumbling down
you had dropped your purse, run out
of your shoes, and he would be
all right, just a few broken bones,
but I thought you were gone
to be with Jesus, one taken
and the other one left,
and never again have I felt
so alone.
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26 thoughts on “Alone

  1. Oh, wow. If this doesn't have voice and passion, I don't know what does, Nico. I think some of our best poetry springs from those traumatic childhood memories. Why did we have to be inculcated with so much fear. It harms rather than heals, as I see it.

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  2. wow…i bet that would feel so alone…to think that ones parent was gone…and then as well wondering why you were left behind…ugh on the kid being hit by a car too…thta would devastate me…i was raised on end times too…ha…oy…

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  3. Rapture-like, filtered through the mind of a young man still defining and chewing on what he is being taught. Very visuals. Love the brisk lines, sharp images and delivery, and the clever presentation of the close. Very nice. Excellente.

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  4. Beautifully expressed… the terror, unknown. I'm glad it ended up okay, but the memory never goes away. When I was around 10, a neighbor was killed in our front yard (we lived on a corner). She was coming home from the grocery store w/out a seatbelt and hit by some high school girls on the way to a football game. Sad thing is… her daughter knew them and they all knew the lady. I will never forget that feeling.

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  5. Thanks Brian–strange how certain details stick in our heads for years, never thought about, then a simple thing triggers the memories. Last night, thinking about what to write, I looked down and saw a pair of shoes one of the girls had kicked off in the living room, and off I went!

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  6. Thanks Mary–I think most people can identify with fear of abandonment. It seems to be one of those primal fears, and we never really get a handle on it.

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  7. Thanks Susan–those End Times sermons, movies, books, really pumped in the fear, didn't they? As I grew older I realized that any approach to religion that has to motivate followers by fear is lacking in truth.

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  8. Thanks Henry, I worried a bit that the delivery might be too rushed (I wanted long sentences to heighten the breathless feeling, but sometimes you wonder how it reads to others). I'm glad it worked for you!

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  9. Thanks Di–it was scary for everyone. I just remembered that Mom could barely walk for days after the event. We lived on a gravel drive, so her feet were bruised from running without shoes.

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  10. Thanks Bjorn, that was one lucky kid. Actually, the fact that the car was a low sports model saved his life; it clipped his legs low enough to flip him up and over instead of a clean hit. As I remember, he only suffered a broken collarbone and some scrapes/bruises.

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  11. Oh the sense of abandonment and isolation comes through so strongly. How anxious you must have been in those moments she was gone…and I'm so GLAD she was fine.

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  12. wow….give me a second and let me catch my breath.

    this was stunning, raw, emotional, and heart stopping. I definitely hear a tinge of your voice in this, it rings quite true.

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  13. Phew..Small mercy I was not weaned on the Armageddon. My lot omits that one:)But I do know that feeling and also have never forgotten it.Makes me want to give you a hug!

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  14. ..heart tugging rendering of what might, could have been…oh, those ill thrown balls can cause sad endings…this as it turns out was not the case..well done.

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