Archives for posts with tag: shock

Lost

The official letter
she had been holding
trailed to the floor
and she fumbled
with a bowl of aphids,
suddenly lacking her
usual appetite for them.

Feeling clumsy,
she set them free
by a windowsill.
The world outside
seemed unreal—
slow and dream-like.
“I must be in shock,”
she mumbled inaudibly.

The letter bore
the usual formalities
and some kind of fancy
seal that meant it was
from someone important,
someone who would
know what he knows,
and bears the responsibility
for conveying only
necessary information
and unfortunate facts.

“Ms. Ladybird,”
it began. “It is with our
sincerest sorrow that
we regret to inform you:
your house has completely
succumbed to fire, and
we were unable to locate
most of your children
in the blaze.”

The impersonal black
words on the white page
were burned into her mind’s eye.
Everything inside her railed
against the horror.

It continued.
“We were able to save
but one, who was hiding
at the time of the incident;
she will be in our custody
for the time being,
and you may retrieve her
at your earliest opportunity.
She is being attended by
our fine counselors and
receiving the utmost
professional attention
deemed helpful, as
she awaits your
return.”

“Ann! Ann!”
She cried aimlessly
into the summer air,
her eyes blurred by tears,
frantic and frozen
in her helplessness.

“We offer our
heartfelt condolences
for your terrible loss.
It is our duty at this time
to strongly urge you
to fly away home
at once, for the good
of your surviving child,
as well as for your own
welfare.”

In a daze,
she read the words
like a foreign language,
barely comprehending.

“Home…yes…home,”
she resolved, still shaken.

“But where is home?”

Claire Juno, © 2017

…inspired by the English nursery rhyme, “Ladybird, Ladybird”.
…dedicated to all who feel displaced in this world, whether by calamity or circumstance.

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The Sun Will Still Rise
…a verse to my mother.

The sun will still rise
after you are gone,
with the noise of workday
traffic in the distance,
the drone of the masses
of the living, going about
their day, unaware of
your sudden absence.

The sun will still rise,
sending its indiscriminating
rays through my window
to this bereft new world,
blinding reminders
of the ambivalence
and continuance of things,
in spite of a loss that seems
to suggest, at least to me,
that everything else
should cease to exist,
in memoriam.

Just Doing My Job
...a verse in defense of the Sun.

I rose that morning
like any other,
only to find her glaring at me,
as though I had committed
some grave betrayal.

Why are you here,
she demanded to know,
and suddenly it dawned on me,
it was not that I had no reason
to be there, it was that
she could not face the day
I had brought to her.

Claire Juno, © 2015

Last Ride

I am made of metal and ride the rails,
a hulking machine of pragmatic power
whose sole purpose is to roll from suburb
to suburb, the sleepy green towns
west of the city, lately covered in fresh
snowfall, their domesticated bliss now
subdued in the brittle night air.

I deposit these fragile human beings
gently onto platforms and pick them up
at quaint stations. Sometimes I do all of this
backwards. But at the end of the day,
it’s all the same: a track that volleys me
from one point to the next, from the city
to the outer bounds of my route, day in
and day out.

Faces become familiar to me with time,
and I can feel the warmth generated by
body heat from the various passengers
deep within my belly. I am like the whale
to their Jonah, only God did not send me,
and they are not running away, nor
climbing aboard to learn a lesson.
They are just along for the ride.

So you can imagine my shock to see
a tiny, toy-like car driving toward me
on the tracks at dusk one January night.
It was silver and eerie in the fading winter
light, almost like an apparition.
My eyes shone upon it and my heart
reared up like a spooked horse but
my wheels could not stop.

I shouted with my horn; I screeched,
I warned, to no avail. My passengers
lunged forward in their seats, awakened
from the monotonous trance of their
daily commute.

I grimaced and shut my eyes
at the grotesque sound of crashing metal
and glass, and when I dared to look again,
I saw a young man floating away curiously
up into the night air.

My conductor was beside himself
with anguish, and emergency vehicles
accumulated. I was quiet and still
as my passengers strained to catch
a glimpse of this awful scene through
my clouded windows, wondering when
they would get home, the idea of which
now seemed half a world away
to us all, though one day I suppose
they will reach it in an instant,
the fastest ride they ever took.

Claire Juno, © 2015

…this may be a vanishing post; it is intended to the memory of someone I lost, but for anonymity’s sake, I may not keep it on my blog indefinitely…