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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Vigil
By Emily Gibson


Lying still, your mouth gapes open
I wonder if you breathe your last
Your hair a white cloud
Your skin softened from disuse
No washing, digging, planting
Gardens or children

Where do your dreams take you?
At times you wake in your childhood home
Rolling wheat fields
Boundless days of freedom.
Other naps become your teaching days
Grammar and drama, speech and essays.
Yesterday you were a young mother again
Juggling babies and your wistful dreams.

Today you looked about your empty nest
Disguised as hospital bed
Children grown, flown
You try to control through worry
Drive safely
Get a good night's sleep
Take time to eat
Call me when you get there

I dress you as you dressed me
I clean you as you cleaned me
I love you as you loved me
You try my patience as I tried yours
I wonder if I have the strength to
Manage mothering

When I tell you the truth
Your brow furrows as it used to do
When I disappointed you
This cannot be
A bed in a room in a sterile place
Waiting for death
Waiting for heaven

And I tell you
Eat, please eat
Sleep well
Call me when you get there.

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This article has been read 1034 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sylvia Hensel 05/02/08
Absolutely wonderful. Your talent is poured out throught your writing. A real winner.
Beth LaBuff 05/02/08
This is eloquently penned. I love the images "rolling wheat fields" "childhood home." This completes the circle, "I dress you as you dressed me -- I clean you as you cleaned me -- I love you as you loved me -- You try my patience as I tried yours." I smiled at your ending, "Sleep well -- Call me when you get there." Beautiful thoughts in a lovely tribute.
Joy Faire Stewart05/06/08
Your writing really touched me. The words are so beautiful and tender. Love the last line.
Pam Carlson-Hetland05/06/08
So VERY well written. I'm left without words because I'm living this as you must be also to be able to write like that. How often I have pondered that gradual shift of the roles of caregiver. This is eloquent and sad. But I love that last line "Call me when you get there."
Willena Flewelling 05/06/08
Sad, yet touching and beautiful...
Marilyn Schnepp 05/06/08
Precious! ...and perfect title for such a heartrending story of real life. Loved this unique and beautiful tribute to your mother. Emotion, love and patience pours out from this wonderful and very well written Vigil God bless.
Dee Yoder 05/07/08
This is very beautiful and touching. I especially love the last stanza: call me when you get there. The repetition of the earlier stanza at the end is very effective.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/08
So poignant and beautifully written! I love the phrases "juggling babies and your wistful dreams" and "call me when you get there." Excellent.
Debbie Wistrom05/07/08
Your title is perfect for the watch you kept. I love the change of responsibilities and the greacious way you own it.
Sara Harricharan 05/07/08
Your title fits this piece and I loved the repeated lines with eat, call me when you get there. So much like a mother! Great job! ^_^
Joanne Sher 05/07/08
The repetition is amazingly effective - especially the last line. Vivid and engaging and moving. Wonderfully done.
LauraLee Shaw05/07/08
This is incredible. Truly moving.
Sheri Gordon05/07/08
Very good--get out the kleenex. Your phrasing is beautiful. Very nice job with the topic.
Jeffrey Snell05/07/08
Thanks for sharing your heart. This is outstanding.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/07/08
A beautifully written emotional piece
Sheri Gordon05/08/08
Congratulations on your EC. This was one of my favorites this week.
Linda Watson Owen05/08/08
Congratulations on your win with this eloquently truthful and touchingly evocative poem. You've penned it with the skill of a master. It beautifully mirrors and achingly reveals real life.
Betsy Markman05/08/08
Beautiful and poignant. Thank you for sharing this part of your heart with us.
Myrna Noyes05/09/08
CONGRATULATIONS on your EC and your 1st place win in Advanced! This is a very moving, well-written piece!
Lollie Hofer05/09/08
Hauntingly beautiful! Congratulations!
Janice Cartwright05/10/08
I got goosebumps just now reading this foreshadow of what is soon to be with my own mother. Only Jesus and the promise of the resurrection relieves the hollow feeling.
Jan Ackerson 06/22/08
Emily, I'm going to feature this moving poem on the Front Page showcase for the week of July 21. Look for it on the FW home page, and congratulations!
Anne Linington07/21/08
Congratulations on this piece that keeps you interested until the final line..I was wondering how you would finish it, and waiting for the introduction of hope. Weel done.
Sharlyn Guthrie07/21/08
Such a sad, yet beautiful glimpse of a common reality. Very well written.
Dianne Janak07/21/08
This is a show stopper. Such a beautiful, sad truth, that the circle must close in the end and we come back to teh beginning. This could not have been described more beautifully and truthfully. Good job and congrats on reaching showcase...>
Beth LaBuff 07/21/08
Emily -- I'm happy to see this on the FW Frontpage. I was blessed as I read this again.
Melody Bowen07/27/08
This brought tears to my eyes. I have had the thought that when we see a very old person, all the wrinkles and bent backs, the veins showing through the skin, we really are seeing a young girl or boy trapped in an old body. Prisoners waiting for freedom from that which is corruptible. God's gift to show us what is temporal, as opposed to that which is eternal....