Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Joseph Lisowski writes


[Shortly after Christmas one year while we were living in the Virgin Islands, our 20 year old daughter Chrissy left our sunny St. Thomas home and flew to New Hampshire to be with her new boyfriend.  About 5 a.m. on February 29, we get a call from a doctor in New Hampshire telling us Chrissy is dead—alone in a one car accident, no drugs or alcohol involved.  The more we learned, the more suspicious the circumstances surrounding her death became.

“From Death’s Silence” is a collection of poems focusing on her, our loss.]


Death's silence is a storm
that cracks trees
breaks leaves
from dawn to dusk.
Until there is nothing
but bare wood.
And night becomes a dark terror
that cannot scream.

It is sudden,
Like the snapping
of a neck.


I am reckless in this wind.
Heat whistles through my limbs.
Another day empty of promise
envelopes another night.
A film covers my eyes,
dark negative
of the hour, the minute
my daughter died.

I wake that moment
every day.  In darkness
there is nothing.
Then roosters and dogs,
sometimes voices cursing,
an occasional gunshot.

Dawn eventually tints my window.
I rise by habit, believing there is no choice.


Words are such empty vessels,
brittle, chipped, cracked,
unable to bear the weight
of loss, agony, regret.
When death strikes, they dissipate
like dust in a sudden gust.

My daughter is dead, I repeat.
(I held her broken body. 
A fingertip touch told me
it was not she--my eyes
blanched by her lifeless form).

I feel her presence unexpectedly
in familiar places--a walk along the beach,
a glimpse in my rear view mirror,
in the croaking voice of her brother's grief.

Her mother keens again, rocking in failed light.
I sit near her darkness and sway.
What we had is gone.  What we have is . . . .


Is there hope?
I swat at mosquitoes,
the relentless heat.

Their droning continues.
I get stung again
and again.


Muscles bend like oxidized rubber,
bones relax. Marrow shifts like jelly
then settles when I sit.
Long day becomes long night.

This is what comes of trusting others.

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