Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Fence

Here is the last poem #5 published here for your comments and feedback. Thanks!

A Fence
by Paul Warloski

I drove past the cemetery too late
to visit Grandpa. The gate is locked now.

Grandma, now 93, takes me to mass
for Thanksgiving, and ancient cantors

lead droning decades of hail marys.
Later, great aunt Virginia, who shared

the guarded family secrets, lays
dying in a hospital bed. Then Friday mass

performed for more dying ancients
in wheelchairs, heads nodding off

in naps interrupted by whispered
and warbled singing, and a final

visit to a nursing home and another
great aunt, whose body has failed her.

On my way home
I visit Grandpa again.
But the gates are still

locked, and I stand
outside the fence,
listening for his silence.

copyright 2009 by Paul Warloski


  1. I think the fence works well as a metaphor for a feeling of separation, not just from the author's grandfather, but from the other relatives and old folk mentioned.

    The last two stanzas are great in that they're both powerful, and sum up feelings from the situations described earlier in the poem.

    "listening for his silence" is another great line, open to a lot of interpretation.

    Good stuff, Warloski.

    P.S. I've sent this link to you before, but I'm not sure if you got it.

    It's an online community run by me, my brother, and a few others. People can post poetry, art, journals, talk in our forums, etc. The more you post, participate, and help others, the more you move up in rank.

    This page has an FAQ that explains more on what the site is all about.

    But please check it out, sign up, and post some of your work. You're sure to get plenty of comments, as the site is geared toward helping others get better with their writing.

  2. we (your mother and I) really like this one. very strong imagery. wonder if it should be left open to interpretation, or made more explicit? not sure. just wondering.

  3. Paul,
    I love this one. You are a poet! Good job.