Sorry to all, I don't know what I hit when I put the poem up!!! Getting old and forgetful, now. My apologies. Like waiting for the next episode of Days Of Our Lives!! (Not that I watch it)
THE GATE © Neil McArthur 2010
The gate, although wrought, and strung less than taut
Hung straightly from hinges of rust;
The lock long removed, the post deeply grooved
Age told in it’s layers of dust.
I pushed back the gate, therein to create
A clearway from mailbox to door;
Up a path of cracked slate, laid at some long past date
But likely to last little more.
I set my worn boots on the path, at it’s roots
And started my trek to it’s end
‘Longside where I walked, the bushes all talked
And whispered, “What brings you, old friend?”
I glanced at the leaves, which swayed with the breeze
Speech lost from the thoughts I portrayed;
For word’s could not rise from memory’s prise
And my secret lay battered and frayed.
Mind torn from the spell of these thoughts which did quell
I trudged to the weathered front door;
And rose up the step with a falsified pep
Whilst doffing the cap that I wore.
The bell, in poor health, had congealed to itself
Through rust, from the long years gone by;
I pushed it three times, ‘till I heard haunting chimes
And though to myself, “Why, God, why?”
The creak of the hinges brought shivers and cringes
As it opened to silent fanfare;
A lady so aged, from long years of rage
Stood barren and destitute there
Her eyes had declined all the comforts of time
Still a faint glint of hope flickered through;
Senility beckoned, and for one glancing second
She asked, “Michael, could that be you?”
I wished for to hide, as she broke down and cried
When my face replaced that of her son;
Reality came, like a cruel flood of rain
And unconsciously my deed was done.
“Mrs. Higgins?” I asked, through a war-hardened heart
“I’m sorry to show at your door;
With the news that your son, is numbered as one
Who will never return from the war.”
She spoke not a sound, her worse fears abound
Closed the door for to block out the sun;
To that gate full of fears, through pity and tears
I sauntered, my cruel duty done!