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.
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.