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The Passing

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Below is the poem entitled The Passing which was written by poet Keith Bickerstaffe. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Passing


A faint glow dribbles 'neath his door, 
and clamours of construction mutter, 
bellow and insinuate, his broken voice 
belies an old man struggling with a stutter. 
He comes and goes in dead of night, 
I mark his shuffling pace, 
his wheezing terrifies and taunts me, 
nervous as I am to peek, 
to see this stranger's face. 

The sounds persist for several weeks, 
relentless, with a purpose, 
still I'm reluctant to confront 
this man, anxious and desirous. 
Then all at once the banging stops, 
the faint glow disappears, 
I'm left to wonder what he built 
'midst stammering and tears. 

Overwhelmed with curiosity 
I wait for his return, 
his latchkey kills my modesty, 
his secret soon I'll learn. 
Elderly, his shoulders bent, 
palms pressed as if to pray, 
a penitent upon his knees 
with not a word to say. 

For in the stark and silent room 
an altar is revealed, 
intricate and fine beyond compare, 
with flowers and still photographs 
a child is honoured there. 
I took his arm and knelt with him in prayer. 
The line stretched down the hallway, 
those offering respect, 
the passing of a little girl 
brought many to reflect. 

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  1. Date: 11/5/2012 4:32:00 PM
    Oh Keith - You've developed this gem to its ultimate sadness so skillfully. I love it. love, Kathy

  1. Date: 10/31/2012 2:15:00 PM
    Love this one Kieth have missed you this is a wonderful write xx

  1. Date: 10/30/2012 5:34:00 PM
    Wow, this is a very powerful write my friend! I really enjoyed reading this awesome and intriguing poem this evening! What a significant piece I must say Kieth, very inspirational, Great Work!!