“I Remember”, poetry posted for OneShotPoetry…..

Giant English Hollyhock


I Remember…

I remember the scream

In the middle of the night

Of something dying

Down by the river,

Killed by an owl

Or possibly a fox.

I remember bolting awake

In my parent’s bed,

My heart in my throat

My father just died,

The funeral over

Sleeping in

His bed,

Afraid to move from this reality

To the next,

No comfort to be had

Even with the scent of

His tobacco in the sheets.

I wandered the house,

Touched the walls,

Looked through windows

To a landscape not  

Changed over years,

Ran  hands down the

Black walnut banister,

Smooth, smooth

As if the days would turn back

Just by this touch

And he would be here.

That scream somewhere on the banks

In the middle of the night,

When I jerked from sleep to

Awake, knowing, he was dead-

The father who loved me

Was gone forever,

I knew then

 I was unmoored from life

floating out of reach of love.

That scream challenged dreams

He would come back,

He wasn’t awaiting the fire

He would wake up,

Much as I did,

In a cold-sweat fear

And slowly, slowly

resume his place in the living

There are unseen things

That happen in the night,

Down on the river bank,

Where life is challenged by death

Where a rabbit screams his mighty last

Where the heart leaps to the throat,

Where  most we can hope for

Is a silent ghost

Who walks out of the river’s fog,

Extends his arms

And embraces the sorrowing.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

May 10th, 2011

Copyrighted, 2011

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26 Responses to ““I Remember”, poetry posted for OneShotPoetry…..”

  1. wolfsrosebud Says:

    Having heard that scream in the night and the phone call when Dad died… I agree you captured the moment and emotions


  2. lori Says:

    I know what it’s like to have fitful nights. I often have night terrors.

    Your last stanza was my favorite, very haunting…


  3. brian Says:

    this is a lovely write…on a very hard subject, the death of a parent…so hard to let go…i saw this in my wife and her mom…that last stanza is a kicker bringing this into sharp focus…nice capture of that moment when reality settles in…


  4. moondustwriter Says:

    didnt know if you know I was trolling for dark works. J I would say this is an aspect of dark that many of us have known too well – that dark place where a child is thrown, that unseen, imagined …

    Your work always astounds and delights

    hugs from the dark side of the …


  5. ladynyo Says:

    No, Moonie….I didn’t know. Dark it is….and with the present situation across our country (the tornadoes right now), dark it is.

    Thank you, Moon, for reading and your comment.



  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Brian, Though I lost my beloved father 20 years ago, the ‘processing’ never really ends.

    Thank you for reading and your lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  7. ladynyo Says:

    I am sorry, Lori. This seems to be the passage of life for all of us. And I know about those night terrors.

    I was afraid to think of certain things right before I went to sleep…because they were sure to show up in dreams.

    Thank you, Lori, for reading and for your insightful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Wofsrosebud. It seems that there is a pattern in grief that is universal. Perhaps that is very much part of our humanity and connectiveness.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  9. Elizabeth Young Says:

    Everything DOES seem different at night, it’s a whole other world the next day. I had terrible nightmares growing up and related well to your poem. It is dark, yes, but resonnates within those who have walked the same anguished path.


  10. Reflections Says:

    I know that scream… painstakingly well… this grief wells within the walls of darkness, brimming beyond just at the banks of the river of evil things.


  11. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Reflections,

    Your own words are deeper poetry.

    Thank you for reading and your insightful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Nightmares..well, child or adult, they take us to disturbing places.

    Thank you, Elizabeth for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  13. ayala Says:

    This is gorgeous , I feel the pain. I miss my dad every day…


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Bless you, Ayala…..

    Me, too.

    Thank you for reading and this simple and heartfelt comment that went straight to my heart.

    Lady Nyo


  15. Shashi Says:

    Dear Lady Nyo

    After a long time I am here and your this verse reminds me of my father… so powerfully written and your lines in the end took me to those days long back…
    Thanks for sharing..
    Its been long that we chatted… Been busy with some transition that is happening around me…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay


  16. Susannah Says:

    This is laden with so much, I felt its weight weave around me as I read. I too have heard that scream and I too have lost my father. Your words spoke to me.

    This is a powerful and wonderful piece of writing.


  17. claudia Says:

    this gave me shivers and made me swallow hard – excellently expressed emotions interwoven with the voice of nature


  18. libraryscene Says:

    What a beautiful tribute…a lovely write, indeed, “embraces the sorrowing” yes, but it takes a certain dark night to do so ~


  19. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Libraryscene…

    Yes, you are right….it takes a certain dark night…..

    Thank you so much for reading and your insightful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Claudia,

    I guess this is the pattern of life? Thank you so much for reading “I Remember” and for posting your lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Hellow Susannah!

    I am so sorry for your own grief and loss.

    My very best to you, Susannah and thank you for reading “I remember” and leaving your comment. You made me cry, too.

    Lady Nyo


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Dear Shashi,

    It is so good to hear from you….and Yes, it has been a long time that you have been at Oneshot. You have been missed.

    We will catch up I am sure, and my thoughts are with you as you transistion. Life seems to be always so.

    Lady Nyo


  23. Kavita Says:

    I think I have such similar screams myself.. this was a very powerful and chilling read, Lady Nyo.. simply superb! It actually gave me goosebumps..

    Too much happening around for us to be aware of… the dead chill of the nights does hold many a secret…


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kavita.

    The night….holding secrets….you got it!

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  25. bluebee Says:

    This beautiful expression strikes a chord with me on so many levels, Lady Nyo, “I was unmoored from life” most of all.


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Bluebee!

    I think we are all ‘unmoored from life’ many times…..the aftereffects of trauma?

    Thank you, sweetie, for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


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