Words on a paper

This is for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. I might write a second poem. I like these words.



The final act,

your letter falls on the mat,

no ringing bells or madly blaring sirens,

just a dull swish,

like the dangling rope cut,

swinging in the wind.

Hands tremble too much to open neatly,

white envelope paper ripped across,

the inked, deadly precise letters, a massacre.

I skim the words,

as if the lightness of the glance gives them less weight,

no time to stick their full import on reluctant retinas.

I skim, slide, eyes glide,

avoid the harsh black-on-white truth.

I skim,

the words shout though I close my eyes.

Skim, I sayโ€”

the stone bounces,

once, twice, thrice,

and hope drops,

sinks out of sight,

into the darkness,

where fall and fade,

all lovers’ broken hearts.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “Words on a paper”

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