in the garden of severed hands

or these days we
waste in silence

these hours or these small passing
moments that feel like pain

that feel like the lack of feeling

and how old are you when the
people you consider friends
start vanishing?

how far away from the
sorrow of your father’s death have
you actually moved?

or maybe not sorrow
but anger

the fact that either you were
a disappointment to him
or he was a disappointment to you

that fact that it
doesn’t matter anymore

you’ll grow older and more afraid

you’ll repeat his mistakes

will sit in an empty room
waiting for the phone to ring

for the moment to pass

a mouthful of bitter apologies
and no one who wants
to listen

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest poetry collections include Heathen Tongue (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and Bastard Faith (2017 Scars Publications).

Ryn Holmes originated from the bottom and top of California before residing along the Gulf Coast of Florida. She is a partner in K & K Writing Services and a co-editor of Panoply ezine. Over the years, her award-winning written and photographic works have appeared in online and print journals.