Featured Poem: The Waltz, the Hammer

 

By Sarah Collins Honenberger 
Chesapeake Bay Branch, Virginia

 

It should be easy. Concede, comply,

and still the enemy

advances without concern

for anyone or anything, a killer on an Easter egg hunt.

Like a scout with orders,

it creeps ahead,

surveys the field,

infects the front line,

and retreats to wait it out.

It knows the odds, counts on the unwary,

embraces the outliers and insiders alike.

We wallflowers, blithely eager, batting eyelids at the cadets,

have never been so bold.

We rush forward, refusing to believe

the reputation that precedes.

When the waltz begins, we step three and three,

sway and dip awkwardly

as if instruction comes at a price

we aren’t willing to pay, and yet

we pay.

In the end we hold back,

No momentary kiss of gratitude on cheek.

Our fingertips held loosely in the air

to let the poison drift on a breeze

of danger, unrecognizable

from the receding days of teeming elbow to elbow

and high fives

and southern hugs,

drawled out in exaggerated welcome.

Truth arrives without shame,

and announces itself in bold outline,

no cautionary tales of warning,

just unvarnished and painful.

Days and days

and still the human heart

hopes.

The miracle, at last.

 

 

Comments

  1. Barb Whitmarsh NLAPW says

    STRONG STRONG PIECE. WELL SAID – EVERY WORD OF IT.

  2. Charlene Holloway says

    I love the fact that the writer brings in ‘Hope’ in the end.. We all should hold on to hope for the future. I loved this poem.

  3. Janet Fagal says

    A powerful metaphorical poem…….Hits hard at the times we are living in. Thank you for this poem to Sarah and to NLAPW for posting it.