Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gathering Dust

Picture by Rob Hanson

Its been a year
since the end of anticipation

since the last of the million times
she picked the receiver
to check if the line still worked
and placed it back
with shaking wrinkled hands

He had said he would call
to tell her how high 
the jet had flown
How inviting the sky seemed
even at war
'Although there are
no borders in sky'
She had observed and sighed
He was thrilled beyond words
Too thrilled to hear the prayers
she muttered 
beneath her shaky breath

Then one day, the phone rang
and severed the last thread of hope
in her tiny fretting heart

Yes, the battle is won,
but he was her only son
The phone, his victory, her life
since that day, gather dust.

The picture that inspired this poem is taken by Rob Hanson, who is interviewed today at One Stop Poetry, and lends his picture for the Picture Prompt Challenge. If you are inspired by his picture, or if you would like to read other entries inspired by it, visit One Stop Poetry. 


Reflections said...

Stunning capture of the photo challenge... Sigh... the heart aches with this piece, feeling the pain, the bell echoing as it gathers it's dust.

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

This is story telling with poetry. love your take on the subject

Jyoti Mishra said...

Believe me u did a fantastic job !!
Loved it.
and the snap is simply superb...

Brian Miller said...

you just added another layer of pain with the mention it was a play this well...tight with emotion...

Glynn said...

This one hurts> I didn't expect it was a mother waiting. Well done.

ashwini said...

That was a great poetic style. I know how it feels to fear that dreaded call, my husband is in the army. My heart always beats a thousand times faster when he doesnt call, when he is away.
Thank you for this poem!

dustus said...

From the beginning I thought your poem was going to be about a romantic relationship, and when it shifted into mother-child, it took on an added dimension. Excellent use of the prompt!

Anonymous said...

*chills* my heart dropped after a few lines..once i got my bearings I felt a flood of emotion in every response to the prompt was inspired by my personal experience of loving someone in a war zone...and the distance between...The one I loved made it home...but I will never forget the power of a telephone after that experience...

thank you...

Tulika Verma said...

Thank you all :)

Ashwini, I salute you. I can write about it and go about my life..but you deal with that anxiety! That must require a lot of strength! Thanks for visiting! :)

Annie, I didn't know that when I read your poem! What a co-incidence! What you drew from your experience and left unsaid, was what I imagined and wrote about! Thanks for the visit! :)

Claudia said...

no wonder she doesn't want to use that phone any more...sad story that gripped my heart..

C Rose said...

Very touching prompt piece. Nice write ~ Rose

Mary said...

A well written painful poem of the loss of a mother. Some losses take a long time to get over....this poem speaks reams.

Jack said...


First visit. Read current posts. Old Woman in the Moon showed such emotional memory and it will surely kindle some in the minds of readers too. Could Have Been seems so true as at times we instead of saying out our feeling hide those in awe of the person we love. This one is so realistic and sad too.

Take care

Randy Behavior said...

My heart dropped a little further when I read the word "son."

Monika said... aches when you actually imagine the plight of the old woman. So touching, you weaved your emotions in words well.
~ Monika

Mama Zen said...

This is so sad!

kez said...

Such a sad story one I'm sure repeated in many homes ...your telling of it was truly engaging ...thank you

Anonymous said...

Really should put a disclaimer on this one *reader will require tissues* lovely poem and a strong story told within

Rob Hanson said...

Whoa. That was good.

Thank you.

Tulika Verma said...

Thank you all for reading and reflecting on the poem..

Jack, thanks for reading the other posts too..hope to have you here again...

Rob, thank YOU for the wonderful picture! It speaks a thousand words in itself! :)

izzy said...

Great story, thank you - lovely to have a new visitor!

Anne said...

Captures the absence and despair with such eloquence. So heartbreaking.

Amiya chatterjee said...

I believe abbreviated pain in poems make it so much Healing !
Sorry ! That abbreviation ( groan) is missing .
Pain is not a design.
Sorry to be brutally critical!

SUB said...

Wow...that touched my heart...

Tulika Verma said...

Thank you SUB!

Amiya, every artist needs a critic! In fact, I don't even consider myself there yet to be called an artist...I try! :) A work of art speaks to different people in different ways, and its perfectly fine if this poem did not speak to you! Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment :)

Anonymous said...

Very nice and very sad :(
Nice story and feelings.

Nadine said...

This is beautiful! Heart so subtle a way! Glad to have stumbled upon your blog.


Anonymous said... Nadine says heart-wrenching. It is the sad tale of so many mothers, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers. You've captured the emotion well, I think. The photo is perfect.

My partner lost his eldest brother, his mom's first born at age 19 in Vietnam. My partner still cries when he recalls the day Army personnel came to the door to tell his mom the news about her son. My partner cries because he can hear his mother wail...the pain in her voice, emanating from her soul was heard and felt. At the time my partner was 8 years old and playing in the back yard with his younger siblings. Their mom was in the house.

I want to share this with him...not sure I will.