Poems and Poetry

June 1978 | A Poem by Roy Pullam

Four o’clock on a Florida morning
The car alone on a four lane
Finding its way home
Having heard heartbreaking news
The shock so great
The guilt
Of being gone
When I was needed
Rolled through my mind
Boyhood memories
Out of context
Played in a loop
In the silence
I wanted to holler out
To shout
My anger and anguish
Grief and sleeplessness
Mixed like oil and water
Grief over fatigue
The anchor
That held me
In a surreal world
The thought
Of what next?
How can I go on?
Death happens to others
But not to my mother
The woman
Who bottled her illness
Never allowing
It to keep her
From so many tasks
Milk of magnesia
Each morning
A stomach so raw
I could see her wince
When she thought
No one was looking
Knuckles that swelled
But did not keep
Her hands
From cold water
On her job
As a chore woman
She was invincible
My iron lady
But now dead
And all the gravity
Of this world
Bore down on me

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