What weighs you down,
Reach inside and
Spend time alone,
To acquaint with
The only person
Able to bring happiness
To your life's journey.
You are the gatekeeper,
And joyous relations
Within, and beyond
A hinged barrier
At mind and in heart.
Turn the key,
Awoken from a sound sleep
To the ringing of a cell phone.
Late enough in the morning
Not to expect the worst.
An unfamiliar voice crackles
Through a poor connection.
Hysterical, her words are not
Quite clear, or I’m still groggy.
“What?” I shout into the phone
Because I think she can’t hear me.
“Your Dad was killed last night!”
Suddenly the connection was clear.
My brain heard the message,
Though I must have been dreaming.
The phone call continued for a
brief moment of time, but…
Silence had overtaken my world.
A shock had kept me in my nightmare.
The house was empty and only
My voice could be heard as I paced aimlessly.
This wasn’t the first call with this news.
Years prior, there was another.
As I sat in a rocking chair,
I felt a disturbance in my soul.
I knew my family was feeling sorrow,
I was certain when the phone rang.
“Your Dad is being rushed to the hospital,”
My cousin said, and I hung up the phone.
Half way through the ride to the hospital,
A calmness took over my body.
I said to my wife,
Not a tear was shed, perhaps,
Because, peace he had found.
Heads were all dropped as I arrived,
Confirming the calmness felt.
My emotions erupted as reality
Set in, he was gone from our lives.
I wasn’t present for my Dad’s
Moments of death.
They have since reached for me
To communicate their peace.
Their Earthly sufferings are over.
They have found happiness and comfort.
The chapters of their lives will carry on
In the generations that follow.
Their stories have no ending, this poem is proof.
They are with me now and always.
Touch what needs healing.
Hold what has meaning.
Listen to a cry for help.
Speak only of experience.
Follow the trail of poverty.
Lead on a path to nourishment.
Read to gain knowledge.
Write to give inspiration.
Live on the edge of existence.
Love to fuel an eternal flame.
A cloud provides shade,
A break from the heat of the day
Eliminating the shadows that haunt
In the heat of our lives.
This is the silver lining.
In our minds, clouds impair
Clear judgment, common sense.
Clouds spark a storm of
Irrational behavior and
A dark world of doubts.
A stroll down a stormy path
Is an infinite circle
Surrounded by tall walls,
Vast rivers and dark forests
Trapping us from seeing the light.
Our escape comes when
We close our weary eyes,
Open our imaginations to opportunities,
A new path surrounded by meadows,
Abundant with flowers and chirping birds.
The first steps on the golden route
Part the clouds in our dark days
Providing internal hope to be happy,
To shine through the clouds,
To always see the silver lining.
We are born happy,
We know no pain or heartache,
We know no wrongdoing,
Our decisions are our own,
As to, are our mistakes.
Life is about learning
To stay happy and to share
Our stories, to share our silver lining,
To shine on the shadows
That attempt to darken our journey.
We must gather together
In a society, as family and friends
To complete a circle of positivity,
An energy charged by a bond
No dark clouds can ever penetrate.
Robert Stanhope started creative writing during his Junior year of high school. In his twenties, he became a motorsports journalist and was published in a number of local, regional, and national trade publications. Now in his early 40s, Bob has returned to creatively writing, including embarking on his first novel, The Last Lie.