her last day — a poem

by | Mar 10, 2018 | Musings, Poetry | 18 comments



her last day

she did not know
when she left teacup in sink
mauve lipstick on rim
grabbed fleece jacket
rushed out door
smelled sunshine
after rain
drove by vineyards
horses, lambs
she did not know —
when she greeted friends
put purse in drawer
kicked off pumps
booted up PC
she did not know —
when she heard shrieks
she did not know
heard stampeding
did not know
ran to hallway
did not know
saw rifle, aimed
did not know —
even then
she did not know
today would be
her last day




Laura McHale Holland
March 10, 2018



Photo titled “Inside Glass of Tea” by Ali Almazawi

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  1. Susan Dacenko Callis

    Death, aimed from a gun, which was so unnecessary. So much sadness for so many. Thank you for expressing the moments of being alive, from a subjective perspective, before the bullet found her.

    Reading your poem, after reading about so many tragedies helps my own feelings of sadness not to trap me into silence.

  2. Laura

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Susan. It is helpful to me to know that my poem is helpful to you, my friend.

  3. PH Garrett

    Laura, This poem is a touching reflection on the fragility of life in these United States, and the innocents who are the undeserving victims of gun violence. Your writing is affective and therefore effective. I’d like to see this poem in print, on the desks of our congressmen and women.

  4. Marlena

    Laura, this is beautiful and oh so sad. Not to know when you leave this earth.

  5. Laura

    Thank you, Marlena! I was so full of emotion when I wrote the poem, the bones of it came to me quickly. Then it was a matter of refining it.

  6. Laura

    Thank you, Patrice. I like that vision. Think big, right?

  7. Pamela Fender

    Big breath.
    Thank you for sharing your poem with us, Laura.
    No more words.

  8. Mary Knight

    Just happens so quickly. There’s a bombs bursting in air aspect to American life… I agree with the thoughtful comments. We have such a lonnng way to go. I’m glad you put this out there.

  9. Mary Knight

    The poem was good. It had an element of surprise. Then leaves you thinking…

  10. Olivia

    Such a tragedy. I’m heartsick. Thank you for your words, Laura. Peace, xo.

  11. Beth Ann Mathews

    Laura, I am deeplly moved by your poem. The shortening pace of the refrain and sharp focus on this valued woman’s weekday routine, her life’s work of caring and healing, brings us painfully close to yet another tragic, avoidable loss.

  12. Laura

    Thank you, Pamela, for appreciating this poem. Big breath. Yes. I need to take those, too.

  13. Laura

    Thank you, Mary. Yes, some folks have questioned whether that song should actually be our national anthem. Why not “America the Beautiful”?

  14. Laura

    Thank you, Mary, for this and for your other comment this poem. I like it when poems leave me thinking.

  15. Laura

    Thank you for letting me know, Olivia. The message of peace means so much. xox

  16. Laura

    Thank you, Beth Ann. I appreciate the specificity of your observations. I expect more folks are posting poetry and stories around the web in response to Saturday’s marches. When enough people speak up—and keep speaking up—things do change.

  17. Zafar

    Very emotional.

  18. Laura

    Thank you, Zafar!

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