Everything is gone, gone.
____No one’s ever stayed:
the family and the friends I loved,
____the bread my mother made.
Nothing’s ever gone the way
____I thought that it would go-
springtime brought me sickness
____and the summer gave me woe.
The pain I thought would surely heal
____has never left my side;
how much more we all endure
____than we imagine we’ll abide.

But when this morning I awoke
____with heavy head quite late,
the load I’ve borne a hundred years
____was lessened in its weight.
For up the road came Death herself,
____and bequeathed to me a smile.
She bade me lay my burden down
____and took me for a while.



C.M. Rivers’ poems have appeared in Badlands, Spoon River, The Wayfarer, Soundings, and elsewhere in print and online.  Nominated once for the Pushcart Prize, you can read more of his writing at cmrivers.com.  A native of the Pacific Northwest, he currently lives in California. 

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10 Responses

  1. James Sale

    A very powerful poem; I enjoyed this very much; it has an assured mastery of syntax, as well as being highly imaginative. Well done.

  2. Terry L. Norton

    A masterful rendering of what is common (or will be) to all of us. Very well expressed.

  3. Norma

    The poem expressed sadness but is only the dark side speaking. You know everyone has felt the heavy weight and struggle. As John Clare wrote in “I am!”

  4. benjamen grinberg

    i’m always impressed by synchronicity. this morning i wrote this poem. it’s basic and doesn’t qualify to the standards herein, it isn’t even exactly about the same theme but it is the heavier, sadder side of life. realism. i thought i would post it.

    The Facts

    I’ve been cheated out
    of my life all my life
    i can’t take it anymore
    i’ll admit i am no saint

    bitter is the bitter truth
    i’d prefer to live a lie
    but i’m tired of hating life
    i’ll resign to what’ve been proved

    i can’t rise past circumstance
    i am trapped in my own head
    maybe this admittance will
    give me strength to look ahead

    i’d have been more virtuous
    to admit this early on
    instead of pretending and
    waiting my youth on illusions

    is there any redemption
    in this clarity now come
    will my regrets be assuaged
    can my life reach God’s kingdom?

    For this is the only question
    But it’s tackled by the facts
    No I cannot be a saint
    I can’t even be normal.

    And this is another judgement
    Something they say to avoid
    So that I won’t be jealous of
    Those who seem to be just right

  5. David Watt

    I really enjoyed your powerful poem. Death and loss have been expressed beautifully.

  6. Rolland B. Heiss

    Man, I really like this poem. I’ve read it out loud several times already and the only reason it was read aloud happens to be that I didn’t want it to bypass my ears.


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