"The Void" Contest Winners / March 2014 (Issue 23)

No More Space for the Pain

by Richard L. Provencher

Thunder disturbed a mirage of peace; lightning painting
the sky, and his head felt severed from an explosion—

He was like an irregular lump on the hospital mattress
similar to the way he and his brother fooled
mom with a couple of pillows modeling
two young boys and toys packed under bed blankets
O so long ago—
mom laughed at that and the time she found
her boys climbing trees just to watch the sunrise.

It grew into a passion
the outdoors
where a canoe pursued hidden creeks leading

and if you were really quiet a moose with
its gangly ways stood proudly—
a majestic
king of the bay
content with his domain.

The IV identified a hospital look
nurse coming in often to check his credits
BP okay, drip doing fine
and no discomfort for the time being—
body parts numb from the stroke.

Closing his eyes recaptures
an imaginary view—
loon sounds continuing
their trill climbing a staircase
of notes heralding evening’s lullaby
frogs burping nearby
bats flying in random ecstasy
coyote yipping ricocheting
from hills nearby.
Getting hard to focus on those days
eyes desperate for rest.
He smells the pine
hears the rustle of trembling aspen
a current’s churlish flow
and a finale of woodsy serenade
calling him to join the scent of forever ways.
This is a Finalist of Cha's "Void" Poetry Contest. Read a description of the poem by Richard L. Provencher here. [Read Daryl Yam's commentary on this poem.] [Return to the "Void" section.]
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