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(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

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The Final Escape

‘There’s something amiss with you today,
There’s something that isn’t right,
I heard you weep in your fitful sleep
As you tossed and turned all night,
We’ve been together for forty years
You’ve never been so distressed,
You’ve raised my fears with your silent tears
Why are you sad, my Blessed? ’

‘A vision came to me overnight,
An angel with sparkling wings,
His face was glad, though he made me sad,
He said, ‘It’s the end of things!
The end of your careworn duties here,
The end of your struggle and strife,
The end of a long and loyal love
As a true and supportive wife.’’

‘Just what did he mean by that, ’ I said,
As I felt my face turn white,
I grasped her hand like a drowning man
And I held her close, and tight.
‘Perhaps it was just a silly dream
Like the one that you had before,
The one about Michael, tapping, tapping
Tapping at our front door.’

‘Maybe it was, ’ my wife had sighed
As she languished there in my arms,
‘But maybe again, he’d not have died
If I’d listened to his alarms.
He’d said that he hated swimming then,
And later I felt a fool,
The man at the door was tapping, tapping
To say he’d drowned in the pool.’

I felt the quiver of sadness then
That rattled through to the bone,
Our son was lost, and we paid the cost
In our small, but loving home.
She hadn’t wanted to look at me
For a year, or maybe two,
His picture flat on the mantelpiece
When she said, ‘He looked like you! ’

I couldn’t deal with her sadness, for
My grief was hard to atone,
We walked like ghosts through an empty house
We both felt we were alone.
The years went by and our love revived
In a way that showed we cared,
The grief that came like a nightly thief
Was held, thrust down, and shared.

‘Perhaps it’s best that we let it go,
I feel so tired and wan,
I can’t remember the love we shared
Before our boy was gone.’
‘Your love was all that I wanted, Jen, ’
My tears began to flow,
‘The angel’s name, it was Michael,
You’ll just have to let me go! ’

21 February 2014

Submitted: Friday, February 21, 2014


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Comments about this poem (Alisa by David Lewis Paget )

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  • Cynthia Buhain-baello (3/2/2014 3:51:00 AM)

    A beautiful and very touching write about loss of a child and the effects grief has on a relationship. Written so naturally yet with strong and gripping emotions of both conflict and sadness, and a final resolve to start over again and keep love alive, Superb piece as always David.

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