When Everything Seemed Simple

There are those nights when sleep
Does not come easy, and thoughts wander
Like an extinct carrier pigeon
Flying back to home from which it came.
There is a stir of the curtains…
Drifting breeze on hot summer night.
Is it now or many years ago?
As I child, I slept within billowing clouds,
So much I could not see…..
What now amazes most is that
I cannot remember any questions.
I recall answers, so there must have
Been questions… But how profound are questions
When answers are always given?
Everything seemed simple then.
The only dark side seemed within.
My grandfather would stand on Sundays,
Close his eyes and spontaneously offer prayer…
Prayers always ended with “Amen.”
Though there was no greater love.
Whatever rules there were seemed clear,
As was disobedience and the beatings,
Almost always in the basement in the
Shadowed darkness where screams were muffled.
Kitchen cupboards were always full, but
Adultery was always hidden out of sight.
It took years to recognize the hunger.
When no one was responsible,
There is no sense to blame.
Far better to forgive, for they did not know what they did.
Hunger fades but never disappears,
Though now the family is scattered like ashes—
Cold wind blowing hard, leaving
No greater knowledge, only residue of pain.
The church still stands and speaks words of light,
Though I’ve never been content with easy answers.


One thought on “When Everything Seemed Simple

  1. Sometimes there just aren’t enough words…
    I know that’s from a movie, but I can’t recall which one, but the phrase came to mind after reading your poem. I touch my heart to yours in empathy.

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