George Murdock

Mother - Poem by George Murdock

They left you where you had fallen
against your pane
like a sparrow deceived in flight
with your delicate frail wings
folded limply to your side
your eyes closed to the world
I felt anger rise
at the feckless efforts
to protect you
from the inmates
the simple monsters
shuffling the halls in drugged trances
into each others rooms
to pilfer cigarettes or money, or
a grope of your gaunt flesh
I stood at the foot of your bed
staring down at you for the last time
crying through my shame
through my lucid realization
of abandonment
I vindicate myself now
with these failing words
imagining your soft quivering voice
at the foot of my bed
forgiving me for living
with less pain.

Comments about Mother by George Murdock

  • Sandra Fowler (11/15/2008 10:19:00 AM)

    Your sparrow metaphor is incomparable. You handle the memory of this
    fragile, beautiful human being with regret and reverence. Wonderful write.
    The reader shares your tears. Take care.

    Warmest regards,


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  • Patti Masterman (11/1/2006 2:55:00 PM)

    Oh wow those words did not accompany a shot of aenesthesia,
    although I doubt it would have helped any.
    I too write about sad days of life. It helps somehow I think.
    The sparrow reference ripped out my heart and cut it to shreds.
    Thank you for this.

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  • John Kay (12/21/2005 2:40:00 PM)

    This poem didn't have to aim for the pain; it begins deep inside it. With so many things you could have said, you picked exactly the right things to make this the best poem of yours that I've read, and I know exactly, I mean exactly, where it is coming from. How can so much pain be so much music to the ear? Are not the great composers writing out of a broken heart, as you are here? (Report)Reply

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  • Hugh Cobb (12/19/2005 9:16:00 PM)

    Thank you for this poem, George. It touches a core of love in all of us who have lost mothers and how we always feel we could or should have been better sons or daughters.

    I know the feeling well and share many of the regrets but the particular circumstances you so heart-rendingly describe here are different, but the loss is all.

    Bless you and keep you.


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  • Charles Chaim Wax (12/18/2005 3:32:00 PM)

    what a poem!
    filled with pain
    cutting like a razor
    across soft flesh
    too soft
    to survive this hard brutal world
    such sadness cannot be usurped by words
    yet words must come
    at least the attempt
    to soothe memory
    and give all who read
    this tale
    hope for redemption

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 18, 2005

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