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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: If only I knew
By H.B. Floyd
04/26/08


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I wish I knew you had run out of money.
But you sold your antiques, saying to me, “everything was all right.”
I would have helped you,
If only I knew.

I wish I knew your health was failing.
But over the miles you hid it so well, saying to me, “not to worry.”
I would have visited more often,
If only I knew.

I wish I knew you couldn’t take care of yourself.
But you didn’t want to be “a burden,” saying to me, “I’m doing fine.”
I would have gladly moved-in to care for you,
If only I knew.

I wish I knew if you found peace with God.
As a child you believed; but as a widow you lost hope, saying to me, “your God is so cruel.”
I could rejoice with the angels and find comfort in my sorrow,
If only I knew.

I wish I knew what I know now,
That hard-headed widows don’t show their distress and don’t ask for help.
I could have made my mother’s final years a whole lot better,
If only I knew

To pay closer attention,
To ask more questions,
To visit more often,
To care for her needs,
To pray without ceasing.




Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress… (James 1:27 NIV)


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Sara Harricharan 05/01/08
So sad, those words that I think we all can identify with. If only I knew...thank you for this, it is a reminder to take the extra moment to see to make sure that this time, we 'know'. Good job. ^_^
Allan Morelos05/01/08
A moving poem. I like the way you end your poem. Great!
Carol Sprock 05/03/08
Excellent use of repetition of a too-familiar feeling after a loved one passes on. I like the internal structure of the poem--except you break it in one place where you say you could rejoice if you knew she was with God. Don't get me wrong--I think the lines are poignant but they do not quite fit the rest of the pattern of what you could have or would have done for your mom when she was alive. Maybe that stanza deserves to become its own poem.