Wild Goose Poetry Review

Contemporary Poetry, Reviews, and Commentary

Kelly DeMaegd, Shortest Day Longest Night

with 7 comments

Kelly DeMaegd
SHORTEST DAY LONGEST NIGHT

Unlike people of ancient times
we are not afraid when winter solstice
descends. We do not fear starvation
or slaughter herds in preparation
for famine months to come.

No, we continue on as always,
train for marathons, drink wine in the evenings,
make love to our spouses. And some of us,
die in our sleep at fifty-one.

Unlike people of ancient times
we are not afraid when the earth tilts
farther from the sun. We do not cover
doorposts with butter, purify women
with ritual baths, perform the spiral dance
to mark the sun’s victory over darkness.

No, we plan memorial services,
share food, music, anecdotes.
And some of us find sorrow too hard to bear.
We mourn alone while others do holiday
shopping, and when afternoon slips into evening
we drive to the same barn where we held
our brother’s memorial, we take
a handful of pills and end our own life.

Author’s Comment: I wrote this poem after learning of a neighbor’s sudden death and the subsequent suicide of his brother. These events occurred during the winter months compelling me to explore the cultural symbolism of the winter solstice as well as how the descent into darkness can result in fear and despair.

Bio: Kelly DeMaegd is a newly retired corporate executive currently living in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina with her husband. Her interests now are focused on gardening, mixed media collage and writing poetry. “Longest Night” is her first published poem.

Written by wildgoosepoetryreview

February 14, 2013 at 12:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. powerful and well thought out

    Sam Silva

    February 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

  2. I hope you keep writing, Kelly. We need your voice in this world. And your honesty.

    kmerrifi

    February 14, 2013 at 11:52 am

  3. Great poem, I felt my heart sink in the line and some die in there sleep at 51!

    John DeMaegd

    February 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

  4. You are an amazing woman.

    Karen

    February 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm

  5. Soulful, it made me think of how precious and fragile we all are. You keep it real, as always Kelly. Thanks for sharing and keep them coming.

    Julie

    February 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm

  6. Kelly, interesting idea on how twenty-first century humans may not be as far removed from soltice effects as we like to think.
    Doug

    Douglas Anne McHargue

    February 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

  7. Congratulations, Kelly!! Very interesting connections, but a hard read for me, so deep in February!!

    patricia Deaton

    February 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm


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