17 March 2014

The Longest Hours of the Day

The longest hours of the day
move like stone, a shared collection
of semi-ruined possibilities
that leave only doubt,

the future more contained, its roof lowered
in the longest hours of the day,
crestfallen cardboard, fragile as dust
with little chance for change save encrypted hope.

What is that refusal deep within
that lures us think 'what if?', 'maybe'
in the longest hours of the day
even as our hearts break open?

Perhaps we humans, illegal aliens on earth,
crave an ever-present sliver of hope
and fail to grasp the despair glimpsed
in the longest hours of the day.

For Open Link Monday but inspired a while ago by a list of words offered by Kenia Cris over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.


  1. cool. i like how you built this....moving like a rock is def slow moving...and our tendencies toward the what ifs...the discontentment becomes ever present when there is not movement...i smiled at us being the illegal aliens on earth...nice piece. happy monday to you.

  2. I like the form, the repeated line, the weight of despair and the fragility of encrypted hope. What if and maybe may be what keep us here.

    1. Yes, not the robustness of faith but the tiny sliver of maybe that is the start of hope.

  3. I like the idea of thinking 'what if' and 'maybe' every day. We always have to keep that hope alive! Smiles.

  4. I loved the idea of the crumbling edifice (of home, perhaps), stricken by the weight of those longest, hardest hours of the day. And that what might be the only thing that saves us is a refusal to see just how bad things are in the hardest hours of the day. Why, perhaps, we insist on writing poems even as the building collapses. Fine write, Mary.

  5. I took that photo of an old edifice in a medieval town near us in Italy. Hope bids us do all manner of incongruous things, even writing poetry that might outlive us and tries to put words to inchoate yearnings, as you said.

  6. What is that refusal… ? It has many names, mine is … hope, I suppose. (maybe stubbornness :)

  7. Longest hour of the day--very hard for me to get through for sure--a very good idea for a poem, thanks. k.


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