The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time


Over the past few months I’ve come to know a group of veterans  who have experienced more than their share of anguish.  In the last few days this theme came to my mind, and in the end, the following came from it.  This is for them:


Mother’s anguish bleeds

from the body of a mother’s son dying

Through the stream of a mother’s soul

tears turn to pools, pools into streams.

Streams into torrents

Mother’s son’s mother cries.

wretched life wasted, wretched cry wasted – wretched

Anguish is the sound of the torrent through her torn soul.

Raging in the ears of those who didn’t know.

Still don’t know.

Won’t ever know.


Son’s anguish sneaks

out the back alley, down the lane, out to the highway

The sound of grief and failure suppressed,

the soul pushed down the asphalt way

motor off

the crunch and pop of loose gravel its only voice.

Until its final grief explodes, pent-up breath,

becomes the sound of the machine jamming through gears

The empty night highway has no more dreams,

running away

Rider’s soul flutters, torn, to the pavement behind,

Anguish is the fading sound of anger,  rounding the distant corner, gone.

Not holding back, never looking back.


Looking back.


Father’s Anguish

never spoken, never open

always borne, never born,

bears the pain of mother’s anguish

bears the blame for children’s anguish

wears the sound of anguish in his eyes

no one hears the scream 

of such pain as no single soul can bear

it flutters in the wind without a sound like a drum-skin, torn,

Anguish is the sound of his silence

Beaten, in the presence of hope.

Torn, in the presence of pride.

Soundless, in the presence of joy.



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3 Responses to “Anguish”

  1. Jena Bowen says:

    Haunting. I don‘t know the situation, but I hear the desperation clearly. It sounds like a prodigal caught in his own demons… parents holding on for dear life, but in vain. Very well done. My deepest heart whimpered as I read it.

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow, Daddy that is incredibly intense and powerful and sad. Beautiful.

  3. Jodie Christopher says:

    Powerful, sad but nice, gave me feelings of saddness for those still in pain for things they should let go but can’t, like loss. Loss is a tough one, and sneaky confusing.

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