November Ekphrastic Challenge: Day 10

Jane Dougherty Writes

The inspiration for today’s poem in Paul Brookes’ challenge is Counting the days by Marcel Herms.

MH10 Counting the days, mixed media on paper, 18,4 x 22,5 cm, 2020


There is child count-down waiting,
birthday, Christmas,
Friday afternoon at school,
party, balloons, friends waiting;

there is parent waiting for birth pangs,
taxis, planes,
the rush of the new on the horizon,
party, balloons, friends waiting;

there is the solitary anguish of hospital waiting,
news, waiting for the worst,
the phone that doesn’t ring waiting,
waiting in the rain till dark;

but the measure is finite,
the piece of string has a beginning and an end,
the longing will fade,
the pain and grief pass on slow wings,

it is the waiting for nothing, the counting
of minutes until the next hour of nothing begins,
the next day, week, year of the same
screaming nothingness but black bitter bile,
the waiting without end,
that is the death of the soul.

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