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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)

TITLE: The Shawl
By Verna Cole Mitchell
01/27/14
~10th Place


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Weighing down her every step,
A shawl of darkness
Encircled her thin shoulders
With steel-like threads.
How many weeks had she been restrained
In this stifling tunnel of grief?
Eight, nine, maybe more,
Since she had endured
The long rites of farewell
With a dignity she had not known was hers.
No sliver of light dared try
To penetrate the night
Of her ever-sunless world.
Life held no meaning for her now
Without her darling beside her.
Her heartbeat was but a whisper
With the silencing of his.
She longed for home in heaven
To be with him once again.
Her sorrowing family had fears
That they would lose her, too.
Until one day,
With the appearance
Of an illuminating glimmer,
She noticed those around her.
She saw his eyes
In the face of her youngest son,
Cast lovingly upon her.
Her daughterís auburn hair
Was the very same
As the young bridegroomís
She had loved to stroke
Those many years ago.
In her grandsonís cheek
Was the dimpled smile
That had brightened at her presence.
One by one, the strands
Of the burdening shawl
Slowly began to fray.
She walked with faltering steps
Toward the glow of day
With the realization
She was still surrounded
By the essence of
The one she missed so much.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 02/01/14
Ahhhh.... so touching!

I saw my father grieve every day for Mama. I'm glad this ends with a happy tone.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/14
Wow this is just raw emotion on the page filling my heart. You managed to fill the page with the pain in such a beautiful yet sad way. This is a stunning poem.
lynn gipson 02/01/14
This is a lovely free verse. So poignant it brought tears to my eyes. Very well done, poet.
Lillian Rhoades 02/01/14
You took sorrow and wrapped it in wonderful, descriptive language. The widow's pain was palpable - so real. I love how you contrasted," shawl of darkness" with, "the illuminating glimmer" and "glow of day."

Poetry at its best!
Graham Insley 02/01/14
I really liked the progress of this; travelling through the darkness of grief and then slowly seeing the light that brought hope.

The resemblance in the faces of family was, I thought, brilliantly done.
Noel Mitaxa 02/02/14
You have captured the slow dawn of light through the gloom of grief so poignantly. Very thought-provoking and comforting material. Well done.
Judith Gayle Smith02/02/14
Magnificent. I love every line, every heartbeat ...
Dave Walker 02/04/14
Beautifully written, with such a poignant message. Our loved ones do, indeed live on in the ones left behind.
Linda Goergen02/04/14
Excellent poem! So masterfully descriptive of one being trapped in the darkness of depression and then seeing the light beyond in the face of family! Outstanding!
CD (Camille) Swanson 02/05/14
Moving and powerful!

God bless~
Beth LaBuff 02/06/14
I love this beautiful, poignant poem! I'm SO pleased to see the EC attached to it! Congrats, dear friend.
Margaret Kearley 02/06/14
Have just read this Verna and it is SO beautiful. Exquisite descriptions of enveloping grief and the gentle healing touches of the Saviour. Just lovely. Many congratulations.
CD (Camille) Swanson 02/06/14
Congratulations!

God bless~