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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: At 3:00 AM
By Purity Snowe


It isn’t just the darkness…
At 3:00 AM it’s the resounding emptiness.
An errant creak in the basement,
the smell of stale alcohol in my sweat,
another faceless man in bed beside me.
I ache alone as shadows claw the window.
And there is no end, there is no end.

A man fell at Jesus' feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter and she was dying.

It isn’t just the loneliness…
At 3:00 AM it’s the eternity till dawn.
Memories of a sordid past constrict about me,
Shameful choices that won’t stay buried
beneath shallow parties, lethal drugs and empty sex.
I tremble, ashamed, as guilt condemns.
And there is no end, there is no end.

Someone came from the house, saying, “Do not trouble the Teacher anymore.”

It isn’t just the shame…
At 3:00 AM it’s the powerlessness.
The throbbing whispers of self doubt,
the certainty that death is swallowing me,
the demonic laughter echoing from the distant borders of awareness.
I weep in despair as flames consume.
And there is no end, there is no end.

“Your daughter has died.”

It isn’t just the desperation…
At 3:00 AM it’s the ancient promise.
A pathway crooked and steep
leading up, away, through the desolate wilderness,
to a land of milk and honey.
I remember and a flutter of hope tickles my breast.
And there is no end, there is no end.

Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” He took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child arise!” And her spirit returned and she got up.

Scriptures adapted from Luke 8:40-55 NASB

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Rudd 05/11/06
This is a very interesting connection. The "dead child" on one hand and the "lost woman" on the other. I had a bit of difficulty following the connection, but your writing is well-crafted otherwise.
Debbie Sickler05/12/06
I agree that it was a bit hard to make the connection between the two stories, but you've used interesting phrases and word choices and kept my interest through to the end.
Jessica Schmit05/12/06
I didn't find it difficult to relate the two stories. That was what I loved about your story. You showed how both were dead, yet both experianced a differnet kind of death and God provided the hope they needed-life. Great job. I really liked this one. One of my favorites of the week.
Maxx .05/12/06
I love the interwoven stories. I think it makes brilliant sense. The parallels of spiritual and physical deaths and the ultimate healing power of Jesus for both. Well thought out and wonderful writing. I just love the poetic writing and the movement from absolute hopelessness to the realization of hope. Could bring home a prize! :-)
Val Clark05/13/06
Yes, this works for me too. You really plumbed the depth of the woman's heart. Well done. Some really great poetry this week.
Brandi Roberts05/14/06
I agree with the last three commenters. Well written - no wonder you made it to advanced so quickly... are we going to see another step up next week?
Linda Watson Owen05/14/06
The Bible account of the dead and risen girl interwoven with the modern portrait of the spiritually 'dead' and 'awakening' young woman is brilliant! What a great parallel!! Beautifully done, Purity!
T. F. Chezum05/14/06
I also agree, it works. Very good job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/15/06
I liked the connection, too. This flowed well, with an easy meter that wasn't overpowering, and an awesome message. Well done!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/15/06
Both stories were weaved together like a beautiful basket full of hope. Thank you. I loved it.
Pat Guy 05/15/06
I think this is absolutely beautiful and fantastically written. I LOVED it.
Crista Darr05/15/06
I LOVE this piece too! It brings hope not only to the ones trapped in the death of sin, but for all of us who are praying on their behalf. Bravo. Excellent work!
Rita Garcia05/15/06
Oh, I agree with the other comments. I really like ready this. The message right on target.
Joe Moreland05/15/06
Somebody said it: Great poetry this week. This one is just another example. To be honest, I didn't fully appreciate it's brilliance until after I had read it a second time. I have read many different ways...as written...reading both stories separately...and, once, just reading the first two lines of each verse (up to the 3am line). I am amazed at how much depth is packed into this very short piece. Excellent job!
Shari Armstrong 05/16/06
At first the verses seemed to disrupt the flow, but later just added to the emotions of this well crafted poem!
Anita Neuman05/18/06
Congratulations on a well-deserved win! This piece is amazing.

Are you convinced now that you are a gem of a writer?
Rachel Rudd 05/18/06
Congrulations on a well-deserved win!
Sue Goodreau05/18/06
this. It's so well- written and beautifully constructed. I like how each stanza about the woman ended-- And there is no end, there is no end. Repeating that phrase throughout really made me focus on the despair and hopelessness felt by the woman. Intermingling her despondency with Jesus' message of hope and compassion made this piece a sure winner. If you've had any doubts about being a good writer, I'm here to tell you to banish the thought! See you in the Masters' Level.
Trina Courtenay05/18/06
I loved this Purity. Congrats on placing FIRST. Well deserved. May you continue to grow in your writing.

Sherry Wendling05/18/06
Congratulations, Purity--a well-deserved win! Your images are always superbly gripping, and this piece is ingeniously constructed. To top it off, you write with your heart for a pen. This is the kind of stuff I love to study for growth as a poet.
George Parler 05/18/06
Crafted nicely. Unique approach.
Dannielle Carr05/18/06
I love what you wrote and how you wrote it. Truly a blessing. Beautiful.
Dannielle Carr05/18/06
Helen Paynter05/18/06
Wow, Purity, many congratulations - you deserved this win.
Venice Kichura05/19/06
Congratulations! You are a very gifted writer who writes straight from the heart!
janet rubin05/20/06
Purity, You are amazing. The way you can capture one's soul in words in terrific. Beautiful and well-deserving of this place!!!
Karen Treharne05/20/06
Congratulations, Purity. A very creative piece with a wonderful message. I also love the title.
Beth Muehlhausen05/22/06
Can't say more than has already been said. This is brilliant!