What is Not There – Poetry by Sandra Newton

Roberto Aizenberg – Father and Son Beholding the Shadow of a Day

It is still there just below the surface
Under the sand under the rocks under the sea
Under the infinite sky

What the mourning dove cries to the sun and clouds
What the honeysuckle clings to for strength and scent
What each green and yearning thing in the garden wants

Human life ends at this threshold
Its words no match for the unspoken
Its muscles feeble compared to the branch

Here is silence and power
Potency of the natural world
Beyond me

I am mute and blind and deaf
I am numb and cold
Marked by the fire of regret

What should I have said?
Or seen? Or heard?
What should I have felt
To enclose and protect you?

Too late.
Now I note only the empty spaces
The unresponsive air
The heavy shadows
And the door that is forever closed.


About the Poet

Sandra Salinas Newton is a Professor Emeritus of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She has two published books, and her short story is printed in Philippine American Short Stories. She earned her M.A. from Hunter College and her Ph.D. from Fordham University.

2 thoughts

  1. Oh my friend, you have so beautifully expressed emotions that I too have experienced…feelings of love and loss, life and death. I find the last line especially meaningful and very powerful. Thank you…your talent continues to shine.

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