Tuesday, 30 June 2020

What then?

by Roberta Brown

When stinging tears form but fail to fall
When refugee hearts run hard into walls
When ink flows freely but no words come
When the scale is tipped by the heaviest thumb

When arms extend but do not enclose
When even a boxer cannot bear the blows
When full moons rise behind sheets of rain
When even the air smells and tastes of our pain

When a knock strikes the door but no one’s outside
When an envelope opened is empty inside
When the shoe slips on fine but is missing a lace
When smiles of sadness bemark every face

When you finish the book but know less than before
When you want to get out but fear opening the door
When asleep you feel happy but know it’s a dream
When you wake from a nightmare and can’t even scream

When clock hands sound like gunfire, but time somehow stands still
When you wish to God you wouldn’t, but you know you will
When the shame you’ve well hidden peeks out from a sleeve
When you crave faith like food, but still cannot believe—

What then?

* * * * *

Roberta Brown teaches at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico, where she lives with her family and two retired racing greyhounds.


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