Trammel Days

You came to me,

wounded in the half-light

of morning.


washed out shades of grey.

Tears streaked cheeks,

lines carved through ashes.

You were not naked,

but your clothes were tattered,

wet and blood stained,

clinging to you,

like a promise,

given by the desperate lips

of the dying.


I did my best to hold you,

to console you

in your frailty.

I feared

that it was within my ability

to crush you

and snuff you out,

putting an end to both our miseries.


The world is hard enough

on one’s own,

and caring for another

can often be

a killing blow.

But like Abraham,

God stayed my hand

and I just held you

in the grey morning

and peered out from our little shelter

at the terrible landscape.

Smoking ruin,


and devoid of life,

and I wondered

if I were selfish

to keep holding on to hope

in this place of death.


You stirred in my arms,

head against my chest

and tears subsiding.

You looked

more ravaged than the world,

but somehow

still beautiful,

beneath your pain and sorrow.

I guess,

that hope is not absurd.

Perhaps it is more precious

when it is found to be

a rarer thing

in these trammel days.


HG – 2019

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