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Two Straight Arrows

That woman’s two sons died together in a car crash

two teenagers off on their way to work

two straight arrows she said they were

and when she told me tears sprang

as it is so often said right into my eyes.

How did she bear it? I wonder for

I have certainly imagined such a thing

many times when my own sons have

stayed gone longer than seemed

explainable in some other way.

I don’t know how she bore it or how

she bears it now, so many years later.

I hear these stories from strangers

who pass right along through my life

on their way to whatever private

challenges they face, these stories

that live someplace inside me, the

lovely and the terrible making a

kind of fierce patchwork I could

easily hide beneath.

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