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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: Ramah
By Purity Snowe


The bottles sit on my motherís nightstand. Her pills. Her addictions. Does she think I donít know? The ravager beats her when heís sober, violates her when heís not. A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping. Escape comes only through the mouths of those little orange containers.

Hope is despoiled.

The pillowcase on my motherís bed is stained with countless tears. And blood. Her blood. Brown and unbending. Refusing comfort. It whispers a morbid testimony of clutching fingers, jagged breaths. She buries her sobs in threadbare fabric as the ravager does unspeakable things. I know. Thin walls keep no secrets.

Pain is everlasting.

Last night she locked her door. The ravager thundered. Demonic fury. I didnít think to. The bottles, empty now. A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more. I swallow the powdered remnants.

Jeremiah 31:15 New International Version

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita Neuman02/23/06
There are some great phrases in here - brilliant word choices that really convey the stilted emotions of hopelessness. I need more information, though. I'm not quite sure what's happening. It's a delicate (and difficult) balance between giving enough information and letting the audience read between the lines. You're very close to that balance, so don't be discouraged - I just need a little bit more clarity. And your "voice" is excellent. You've done a great job capturing this character.
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/23/06
I agree with Anita. It was a facinating story and what was there was well-written, but I didn't quite get it...
Lynda Schultz 02/23/06
Ditto on the previous comments - but tell me more, what you have here begs for further development.
Jeffrey Snell02/23/06
Your phrasing is very powerful and edgy. Emotional tension appears from the first line and never dissipates--but I, too, was a little confused with the end.
Jan Ackerson 02/23/06
I'll agree with the previous commenters, and add that this is both heartbreaking and lyrical. Well done.
Andre Kingston02/24/06
My only comment here is that this reads like it begs to be a poem. Some line breaks here, a little reworking of the words there and 'viola' you have a powerful poem in your portfolio. Really, it would not take much work at all and I think the mystery you are trying to reveal/keep will stay just barely visible. I did understand what was happening. I do understand the ending. When it is read as a poem, it works.
James Clem 02/24/06
Wow! I'm suprised at the comments, cause I totally get it!
I do think it would be better presented in poetic style (it doesn't need to rhyme) rather than prose.
Cheryl Harrison02/24/06
It really causes one to think. I agree with those that said it is poetic. I felt the hopelessness. I read it three times, wondering if it was mom or child that committed suicide. Did I get it? Good job.
T. F. Chezum02/24/06
I agree with James and the others. A little polishing and you have a great poem here.
Julianne Jones02/24/06
I clicked on your link, and the first thing I want to say is you don't suck at all. Don't even thing that! For a Level 1 entry this is awesome. I got it, but then perhaps that was because I read it as poetry because it seemed to have that quality. Follow the advice of others and I think you'll have a great piece. Loved the biblical references too - "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more" - they tied in so well. Well done.
Maxx .02/24/06
Umm, excuse me ... you don't suck. This is very very good. I totally get the story and think you did great. Keep it up!
Karri Compton02/26/06
I get it, but then sort of don't get it. What does the sentence mean: "I didn't get to."? Also, why does she swallow the remnants? Perhaps this was just above my head. You had some great imagery. I think I just wanted more.