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Later Days

Like a storm-washed window,
You lived in a riotous haze,
Raging through life
With flushed cheeks
And unruly fists,
Your laughter scattering
Like a handful of rocks.
You must have thought
You were endless,
That you could let life
Trickle from you, spreading
To the end of the highway,
Then hoist an upturned bottle
And rise again
In the shadowless noon.
You never foresaw a later day,
Or ever wondered
What could happen in it.
You never imagined
That you could use it up.
And then the middle of the road
Was suddenly the end,
And all the potential
That waited to create
What you might strive to be
Was left
Beside a dawn-lit bridge,
Among particles
Of reddened glass;
All the color banished
From your ruddy skin
As if drained
Into the umber bottles
That held no reserves
Of time
After all.


gel said…
I enjoy your work because it flows so smoothly with rich imagery and thought giving me a glimpse into your mind.
I wish your brother hadn't died. That's a tough scene, to say the least. Take care
Dennis said…
Very powerful imagery. This must have been difficult to craft. Despite the heaviness of the subject, there are some beautiful lines here. My favorite is “Your laughter scattering
Like a handful of rocks.” Your poetry is very good.
G said…
This gave me chills, a very haunting poem with beautiful imagery. Well-crafted, too -- it's difficult to write effectively about things we feel sharply, to keep enough distance, and you've really done well. I'm very sorry his road came up short.
This image is so beautiful to me:

"From your ruddy skin
As if poured
Into the umber bottles
That held no reserves
Of time
After all."

L. Monique said…
Wow... its been a while since I could read a poem and be there in the moment with the narrator, feel the angst and emotion, and I loved this beautiful poem. I know your brother, he just has someone else's face.

Thank you.
liz elayne said…
this is an incredible poem. one of those poems that invites the reader to nod and say, "thank you for getting it."

thank you for sharing this today. i can only imagine the emotion and truth behind it and inside it.
Dana said…
Oh my god. This is exquisite. It's moving. It's controlled. It's intense. I had such a reaction reading this piece. This is my mother. It's my father.
I returned specifically to read your incredible poem several times aloud, in the silence of my home.
Like poet with a day job, I also feel the closing is exquisite.
rax said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
rax said…
"That you could let life
Trickle from you, spreading
To the end of the highway,
Then hoist an upturned bottle
And rise again
In the shadowless noon."

These lines are my favorite (in addition to the ending of course)

It's like the opposite of "a calm before the storm" --this turning point, in the whole scene... everything is moving forward, I could hear it, see it, feel it... and it took my breath away as the poem continued (plunged) on toward stillness. a full stop...ahhhhh the brilliant closing.

Wonderful imagery --distilled and liquid... haunting.

I love it :D may i link you?
RomanceWriter said…
you must have thought you were endless...

oh my that line is amazing. All I can say is I am jealous I didn't write it.
David said…
All I can say is I am glad you are my brother.
Rob Kistner said…
You've summoned again fully the tears I wept so bitterly, and for so long, for my 18-year-old son Aaron -- upon hearing he'd been violently killed by a careless driver... his life ripped away before he had any chance to realize his potential. I'm weeping as I write this...
GreenishLady said…
I must have missed this poem first time, and am so glad to have the chance to read it now, to honour your honouring of your brother's memory, and to simply experience a wonderfully crafted poem that contains no sentimentality, but a strength of feeling that is deep and powerful. Thank you.
tumblewords said…
I'm glad I had a chance to read this exquisite tribute! Your eloquence is astounding and the emotion is overwhelmingly real.
Fledgling Poet said…
This is just stunningly heartbreaking, but the words that express it are so beautiful...thank you for sharing this poem again because I wasn't here to see it the first time around.
Pauline said…
"And then the middle of the road
Was suddenly the end,"

The perfect pivotal moment, in life and in this poem. You've collected some vivid images and made them work from beginning to end. Wonderful work!
split ends said…
Really amazing. Thanks for sharing with us. Reading something so powerful reminds me of how much impact our words can have, and how even difficult and painful situations can be transformed into meaningful things that draw people together and/or make them think. What you've done here is really haunting and beautiful. I'm so sorry for the loss that lies behind it.
K.M.Ryan said…
wow. i love the power in the imagery in this poem.

if you don't mind, i'd like to add you to my blogroll
Dara said…
Heartbreakingly beautiful and transcendent. Universal and yet so personal. Thank you.

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