Alone At Night Poem by Gary Witt

Alone At Night

Rating: 5.0

I would pray then at my bedside,
Fingers tightly intertwined,
Eyes straining to close around themselves,
Thoughts thrown with all my strength—
A heavy Sunday paper hurled
Nightly toward heaven’s mighty gates.

The car would pull into the whispering drive;
Its engine cutting, then chugging twice,
The creak and slam of a dented door,
Shoes crunch quietly through the snow,
Leaving me to listen
In the silence they have left behind.

Sean North 30 January 2008

GARY.....sometimes one catches the wave.....and it waves back...

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That which one cares about always leaves a deafening silence in its departure. I enjoyed this. Made me think. t x

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Gregory Gunn 01 February 2008

Yes, the child's futile prayers to make the hurt go away. You've created a rather ominous atmosphere, Gary. You even describe the dilapidated condition of the car which gives an added dimension of the father's uncaringness to the piece, unless of course, I'm way off target. Particularly liked the line: 'A heavy Sunday paper hurled' Greg

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David Floren 06 February 2008

I read this as a poem of intense anticipation. The line I liked best was...'Leaving me to listen in the silence left behind.' From prayers in isolation to the sounds of physical approach, the supplicant switches from extreme internal awareness to extreme external awareness. This takes a moment of time, after which the sounds have receded and the supplicant is left completely entranced by external awareness. Silence has a very real 'sound' in those first moments one switches from internal to external mode, those moments when your senses are doubly sensitive by virtue of being just now switched on. Trouble is, the supplicant hears nothing from the external world, just as no reply seems to come from On High. I actually read this poem thinking the supplicant was a woman praying for her husband to get that promotion that will save the house from foreclosure and let him work the day shift instead of the night shift so the couple can spend more than 15 minutes per day together. The sunday paper bit was great because the supplicant seems to experience a week's worth of 'news' every day, but 'she' has to be God's paper boy because her husband doesn't have but 2 seconds a day to discuss anything with her. She's built up a horde of 'news' about her day and doesn't get to share any of it with her bedraggled night-shift-working old man. Ha!

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David Floren 06 February 2008

Of course one can infer from the fact that Gary is a man that the poem is autobiographical (e.g. a boy hoping his father will modify his apparently unacceptable behavior) . But I couldn't find any facts or clues in the poem to verify this or any other inference about gender or family relationship. The absence of these indicators offers the reader a free hand in imagining what is going on. This is why I like the poem. It liberates the reader a bit and offers the reader a well-worded and defined framework within which the imagination can work. A man is fully capable of praying. Likewise a woman is capable of driving a dented junker. A grandfather could be praying for his live-in daughter to stop visiting juke joints until all hours while his granddaughter lies neglected in her crib. I read the driver to be a husband working the night shift (or swing shift) and the person praying to be his wife.

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Shadow Girl 15 May 2011

Really loved this poem. SG

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Chuck Audette 12 May 2011

Love the tension in this, the anticipation it leaves in the reader... -chuck

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The Devils Girl 01 January 2011

this is a great poem... I love it

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Dr Antony Theodore 08 May 2010

i like these lines: I would pray then at my bedside, Fingers tightly intertwined, Eyes straining to close around themselves, good expressions and very thoughtful

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~ Jon London ~ 20 July 2009

Gary, this wonderful written much food for thought my friend...I could feel the plea of your heart in each golden line...very well composed..and the delivery of this terrific bang on the money....well penned 10+++

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