A Single Mother

Sad woman by seashore
Image from Pinterest

I sat by the shore
Watching a woman
Swathed by the waves
Sometimes completely inundated
She sat there frigid.

I knew she was crestfallen
Her grief seemed to be raw
A lump rose in my throat
As I walked towards her
She sat there unaware.

I spoke some words of solace
To assuage her emotional deluge
Her fiery eyes bore through me
A scary stony expression of glare
Didn’t deter my positivity

I pressed further…share it
Say it…feel the words that heal
The arrows that sat on her tongue
Pierced my heart into smithereens
I clutched her hand when she spoke…

Do you know a shooting pain
That rises every moment?
Do you know how it feels
To be asphyxiated every second?
Do you know what is loss?

Loss of an only child
My only hope, my only star
Who went to school to study
Bubbling with life cut short by a bullet
Is this the price we pay for learning?

Can your words restore my faith?
Can your hope bring my son back?
Can you assure me no more would be killed?
Can your words mitigate the woes
Of a single mother?

Can you oust the demons
That excoriate me night and day?
Can you replace the walls
That torment me all night?
Can you douse the fire within?
Teary eyed I looked at her, dumb-founded.
© Balroop Singh

This poem was written after the deadliest school massacre occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County, Florida on February 14, 2018.

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46 thoughts on “A Single Mother

  1. No one can understand the pain of the parents who lost their child… especially the only child. It’s so surprising that evil mind choose to kill innocent kids.

  2. Balroop, your image at the top is so peaceful and serene . Into this you throw your
    beautiful poem so filled with grief that we really stand dumb-founded. There are times
    when no words can reach, no comfort be received. Maybe though, at some level this
    mother felt your love and it becomes a little ray of warmth.

    1. I didn’t meet such a mother Miriam…I was just trying to feel and share the inexplicable distress that cannot be shared or soothed…if it breaks my heart who was so far away from such a loss, we can’t even imagine the pain of those who lost their teenaged children… they must have raised with so many dreams and suddenly they were no more!

    1. Thank you Robbie, I was at a loss of words while writing this. The pain that I felt couldn’t be expressed, just imagine how deep must be the hurt of those connected with this tragedy.

  3. A hand, an ear, are all we have to offer those suffering through such agony, Balroop. Your words capture such catastrophic events… Love and prayers for those who are lost and have lost. ❤

    1. The void in the lives of those who suffered this loss can never be filled Bette, their grief would go with them to grave. No words can ever soothe a mother.

  4. Of all the pains, losing the child makes the deepest and never-to-be-healed wound! This is such a deeply touching poem…it nearly made me cry… we are always short of words to console a bereaved mother… 😦 😦

    1. You are so right Mani…no words can ever soothe a grieving mother who was looking forward to the bright future of her child, with dreams in her eyes.

  5. Exquisite writing Balroop. Instinctively I knew the loss had to do with the Marjorie Stoneman tragedy. We cannot even pretend to know the loss of our own child. I can only imagine there is no bigger grief to bear, as every grief seems to hold an identity of its own. ❤

  6. A sad poem but very fitting in memory of such a terrible incident. No pain like losing someone forever and knowing they will never come back. Ending with dumbfounded is apt. Sometimes we just can’t explain certain things and don’t know how we will move forward. A lovely emotional write as usual, Balroop. Take care my friend.

  7. This is one of my favorite offerings of yours, Balroop. I would want to offer condolences, words of comfort as well in such a situation. But since, in my deepest places, I wish to be left alone, I must honor that wish in others. If they want company, I’ve discovered most just want silence, because who can conceive of another’s pain?
    Well done. Happy Mothers Day, by the way! ❤

  8. It’s so difficult to capture such pain Balroop and yet you did it beautifully.
    I am not sure any word, any touch, any attention can help you heal of such a dramatic loss. And yet every word, every touch, every attention is more than welcome on the road of grief. .
    Stay blessed. ❤

    1. You are right Marie, words seem to lose their significance…can never be enough in the face of such a massive loss…irreparable and unforgettable.

  9. This gave me chills, not only from the deep wailing sentiment, but also from knowing her words would fall on deaf ears within our current government. You brought this message home so beautifully and acutely, Balroop ❤️

    1. History is a witness that evil has to end one day…keep the hope alive Tina. Thank you for sharing your anguish over the matter.

  10. At a time when words fail us, you reached into your core for this poem … the initial image of the lost woman in the serene beach raises confusion and gradually we realise the depth of her lost self…and ultimately her absolute loss. Brilliantly written, deeply moving … a stoic and meaningful poem on the result of this atrocious act, so many young lives lost. Your single last word of ‘dumbfounded’ hangs like a forlorn echo, reflecting our own state of mind.

    1. Thanks for your beautiful poetic response dear Annika, I don’t think words can ever fill the void in the heart of a mother who loses her child to a senseless killing. If we can feel the indignation and anguish, her feelings are unimaginable.

  11. Your poem is intense and heart-wrenching, Balroop, portraying the grief and heartache any parent would suffer in these senseless tragedies. Losing a child in any event would be horrible and difficult to bear, but from these shootings that seem endless, it is ever so heartbreaking. If there were any words to soothe a parent suffering from this degree of loss, what would they be? I can’t think of any that wouldn’t sound trite…

    1. You have rightly summed up the discussion Lauren…words do seem superfluous when the heart is no longer able to hold any emotion…solace can’t reach such a heart! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    1. Thanks Jeri…this emotion is inexplicable…I have tried to convey how such a senseless affects life! Hope we would see the light one day.

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