Home » Uncategorized » WHEN ANGELS FLY TOO CLOSE


Every time I think—
There—I’ve emptied
Myself for now
Said all the prayers
I know for you
Wept out every tear

Another indignity
Scurries forth
To further incense
Me, thwart
Any pretense
At ambivalence
Or dazed sanity



No matter – I welcome
Back the holy
Tenderness that flies
like a wounded cygnet:
Wings unable to flap
Lungs unready to breathe
It plummets, gives into
Fear and sinks beneath
the water …

Maybe if I think of you
in abstracts
the pain will grow
more bearable
I don’t believe it,
Not really but I need
to try something …
do something different.



  1. Thanks to all who came, read, and commented on this odd hurting poem … I am working through (I hope) some pain over that baby who died here recently (starved and beaten by her parents, then ended up on life support, malnourished and in cardiac arrest – finally taken off by court order and allowed to die) – it is just one of those cases that has got under my skin and won’t let go … I will write other things (in fact, have) but I know this little one is going to bring a lot more work forth. Thanks again everyone. I appreciate the feedback and the insight.

  2. Sharon – Of course the poem is beautiful – so often your pain – is like the pain of childbirth and brings forth another infant – fully formed and living – and beautiful which we share so lovingly and openly with the world – I recognize the obvious parallels as I write – Wonderful to try something new – but perhaps in trying what has always worked for you – your ability to articulate, express and in some way bring new life to disorganized deadening pain you will see what those of us who love your work see – that you light your own way time and time again out of darkness and from death and pain bring forth new life. Wonderful poem – terrifically gifted poet 🙂 Sleep well.

  3. I like this a lot, especially your metaphor of holiness as a drowning swan–a very distinct and arresting picture. For some reason I am unable to view many of your posts; I don’t know what the reason is, but I hope to find a remedy. Thanks so much for following! 🙂

  4. It seems the pace one needs to maintain-to continually empty the sadness from our hearts- is too fast. We don’t have time to process/grieve one loss, or indignity, before another one is upon us. The unprocessed sadness builds up in our hearts and overwhelms. Stepping into one blessing and letting it balance- a gift to ourselves and to the world. Wishing you peace.

  5. To me, this poem is an anguished reflection of the tribulations of unrequited love. I love the image portraying the wounded cygnet. I also sympathize with the ending – trying to alter one’s coping strategy, hoping that the edges of the pain will become duller in time …

  6. Sharon, this is just beautiful, and so sad. LOVE the opening phrasing:
    “Every time I think—
    There—I’ve emptied
    Myself for now”

    And your line breaks here:
    “No matter – I welcome
    Back the holy
    Tenderness that flies”

    For me, this allows “Back the holy” to be its own statement. The speaker stands up for what is right, no matter what.

  7. Wow! I am in awe of your first stanza, and then the second one comes along and it’s even better. And that’s how the whole poem reads: one perfect line after another! I love the idea of “indignity Scurrying forth” and the way you used incense, and “dazed sanity” and “holy
    Tenderness that flies like a wounded cygnet.” Absolutely brilliant!

  8. That’s right, if it isn’t working one way, try another. It’s not our choice if someone chooses to hurt us, but it is our choice if we allow it to continue to do so. The heart ache in this almost reaches out and grabs us.

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