The Message Poem by cahen thrips

The Message

Rating: 5.0

And then came the news -
it should have been a slap in the face
but in fact we knew
to expect it from the start:
happy endings are for others -
feel good stories work well
but not for us.

We wanted to shoot the messenger
but he was so awkward
we felt sorry for the man
so we listened to his broadcast
held rubber-gloved hands
held on to our dignity
held back the tears
and let go later.

My seventy six years have passed by
almost unnoticed
faster than a swift can snatch a fly
so six months will seem like a single flicker
of an anxious eye
and then what?

Overnight from your hospital bed
you heard the twitting of a tawny owl
and wondered if it called to you
with a saviour's message;
But owls are also wise:
they don't believe in miracles either.

Dawn came with that same rueful light
and headlines remained unchanged.
You died at 2.30 pm on 1st December.
That evening after dark
a tawny owl sat in a nearby tree
calling loudly
and I imagined you called to me.

December 2022

Friday, December 30, 2022
Topic(s) of this poem: death,birds,love
Rob Lamberton 12 January 2023

Thank you for your comments on how quickly life passes; " faster than a swift can a fly"! TFS

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