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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write in the POETRY genre (05/17/07)

TITLE: Shattered
By Betty Castleberry


He walked the long hall for the third time that day
Praying for guidance and the right words to say
His bride was imprisoned in a world of her own
Leaving him saddened, spent and alone

Stone-like she sat, her eyes vacant and weak
He touched her face gently and started to speak
“Hello my love, are you hungry, in pain?”
She gazed past his shoulders, his words were in vain

A mind-robbing demon had snatched up his wife
Stealing his happiness, his love and his life
The dreadful nightmare always ended the same
He felt cheated and angry wanting someone to blame

Her dinner arrived and he fed her with care
Seeing her helpless was too much to bear
He wiped crumbs from her chin with a soft gentle touch
He’d do anything, he loved her that much

He recalled silver laughter that kept his heart nourished
And remembered a body where strength and health flourished
She was his angel and a friend all in one
And his past and his present, his moon and his sun

He talked of their children and the life that they shared
Nothing cracked through the armor, she just sat and stared
He tried to go on as if all was well
But to see her this way was his private Hell

He opened the Bible to her favorite Psalm
And read soothing words offering comfort and calm
Though the passage was powerful, strong and true
He could hardly believe what he saw his wife do

She looked heavenward and for a very brief while
A spark lit her eyes, her mouth curved in a smile
Her shaky voice faltered, she sang soft and low
“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

Then the spark was extinguished and she withered once more
He patted her hand and walked to the door
Tears striped his cheeks as they started to fall
For the fourth time that day he walked down the hall

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This article has been read 1314 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lenda Blackmon05/24/07
Oh, this made my heart hurt for this couple. Awesome use of words, I could see it in my minds eye so well. Bravo!
Pat Guy 05/24/07
Beautifully heartbreaking and so poignant. (I think I know)

It reads easy, then then that means it wasn't easy to create.

Melanie Kerr 05/24/07
Beautiful poetry. It flowed so well and the rhythm, the meter and the message remained intact.
Dixie Phillips05/24/07
A contender indeed!
Maxx .05/24/07
most excellent. very powerful and filled with such depth and meaning. good job!
LaNaye Perkins05/24/07
This was so beautifully written. You did an awesome job writing this!
Jacquelyn Horne05/25/07
Oh! How heartbreaking! What a wonderful account of love in poetry form.
Loren T. Lowery05/25/07
So sad, but so beautifully told. The emotions so exposed - great job!
valerie chambers05/26/07
WOW- what else can be said? you captured it all!
Rhonda Clark05/27/07
So heart-wrenching. This is a wonderful story of love. Good job.
Leigh MacKelvey05/27/07
Amen to all comments above!
This was a pleasure to read.
Cassie Memmer05/28/07
Beautiful, haunting, painful. Well written, with insight into the one 'left.' I'm glad she responded to the Word! The spark of life/Jesus was still in her! Great writing.
Jan Ackerson 05/28/07
Oh, so tender and poignant!

If I were to offer any suggestion, it would be to change the title. To me, "shattered" implies something that happened in an instant, with great force, while this disease has robbed them slowly and relentlessly.

The poem itself is so very lovely and sweet.
Henry Clemmons05/28/07
So, So GOOD. Touched my heart greatly. Bless you.
Dee Yoder 05/29/07
You captured the feelings I have exactly when I go to see my Dad who has Alzheimer's Disease. Thank you for reminding me that God can still touch my Dad's soul, even when I can't seem to.
Myrna Noyes05/29/07
This is a wonderfully written poem that flowed beautifully, but it told such a bittersweet story! Excellent job! :)
Teri Wilson05/29/07
I am thinking this is about Alzheimer's disease, but am not sure. I like that you didn't "name" the problem. This was heartbreakingly wonderful! I enjoyed every line.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/29/07
This is so poignantly beautiful. Excellent poetry!
Benjamin Graber05/29/07
Painful poem, but beautiful. Excellent job expressing the struggle this man was going through.
I would suggest that you add punctuation, which can help to make a poem easier to read and comprehend.
Keep up the good work!
Joanne Sher 05/29/07
The second-to-last stanza is amazing! Loved the whole thing, but that one stanza was wonderful. Excellent work.
Dara Sorensen05/29/07
Heartbreaking and emotional; great job.

The only critique would be that in some spots the rhythm was a bit off, but nothing major to take away from the loveliness of the poem.
Bryan Coomes05/29/07
WoW. Very powerful, emotionally stirring, a vivid picture portrayed. The rhythm and flow were quite smooth. Great job!
Rita Garcia05/30/07
Amazing, touching and well written!
Donna Powers 05/30/07
This is just so lovely and heart-wrenching. I've seen this scene many times. You depicted it so well. Thanks for sharing it
dub W05/30/07
Well presented, good depth, and the meaning rang through. Nice. I really liked this. Missed it on my first read through.
Sharlyn Guthrie05/30/07
This is so touching (which accounts for the big lump in my throat) and very well-written. Thanks for sharing it.
Patty Wysong05/30/07
Wow. I could see it and I'm still feeling it. Exceptionally well done. Heartbreaking because it's so true.
Rita Garcia05/31/07
Janice Fitzpatrick05/31/07
Wonderfully written! Your piece brought tears to my eyes. This broke my heart and brought poignant memories as I remember my own "dad" and what we went through as Altzheimer's then pneumonia took him away from us. I rejoice in knowing though that we will meet again one day in a better place, and he will be whole,something he never seemed to be in this lifetime. Keep up the marvelous writing hon. Lord bless you and your gift of writing!Janice
Pat Guy 05/31/07
Congratulation Miss Birdie Betty! This is an AWESOME piece and is so deserving! Woohoo!

Sheri Gordon05/31/07
Oh, this is wonderful. I'm swallowing a major lump in my throat.

Good job -- congratulations.