Featured Poem: Broken

Janet Fagal
Central New York Branch

 

She sees his face,
a picture etched
in memory.
Her child’s image.
Eyes dark,
piercing.
Nose strong.
Mouth full,
hints of smile.

 

She hears his voice.
The sounds: low wails,
whimpers.
Her son
frightened by bombs,
watches
through rubble
and smoke.

 

Again and again the
roar of war
sends them running.
New shelter.
Cramped hovel,
temporary.
The necessaries: food, water, hope,
too limited.

 

A hand,
rough, calloused
reaches out.
Safety,
come.
A gesture,
the truck readies.
Room for one.

 

She pushes her son,
up.
A mother’s heart
shatters.

 

Poet’s statement: Written for our branch’s 2018 Painted Sounds event, “Broken” was inspired by National Letters Chair Nancy A. Dafoe’s fable, “Naimah and Ajmal on Newton’s Mountain.” In Painted Sounds, which was created by the Atlanta Branch, Pen Women select another Pen Woman’s work in art, writing, or music in order to create a new piece. In Nancy’s piece, I was deeply moved by the idea of a mother’s long search for her missing child.

 

Comments

  1. Very powerful!

  2. Barb Whitmarsh NLAPW says

    A MOVING POEM TO THE HILT.
    IT REALLY TUGGED AT THE HEART.
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT.

    • Thank you, Barb. I have to thank the Atlanta Branch members who started Painted Sounds. Without our CNY Branch’s Painted Sounds program, I don’t know if this poem would have been written. Nancy Avery Dafoe’s moving fable inspired this poem. And more broadly other influences about a mother’s love and loss also came to me as I wrote.

  3. Carole Mertz says

    Your poem and it’s inspirational source was of great interest to me. Continue your good work!