by Glenn Roesener

Mother's anguish bleeds
     from the body of a mother's son dying
     Through the stream of a mother's soul
     tears turn to pools, pools into streams.
     Streams into torrents
     wretched life wasted, wretched cry wasted - wretched
     Anguish is the sound of the torrent through her torn soul.
     Raging in the ears of those who didn't know.
     Still don't know.
     Won't ever know.

Son's anguish sneaks
     out the back alley, down the lane, out to the highway
     The sound of grief and failure suppressed,
     the soul pushed down the asphalt way
     motor off
     the crunch and pop of loose gravel its only voice.
     Until its final grief explodes, pent-up breath,
     becomes the sound of the machine jamming through gears
     The empty night highway has no more dreams,
     running away
     Rider's soul flutters, torn, to the pavement behind,
     Anguish is the fading sound of anger, rounding the distant corner, gone.
     Not holding back, never looking back.
     Looking back.

Father's anguish
     never spoken, never open
     always borne, never born,
     bears the pain of mother's anguish
     bears the blame for children's anguish
     wears the sound of anguish in his eyes
     no one hears the scream
     of such pain as no single soul can bear
     it flutters in the wind without a sound like a drum-skin, torn.
     Anguish is the sound of his silence
     Beaten, in the presence of hope.
     Torn, in the presence of pride.
     Soundless in the presence of joy.