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De-throned, I sit amid my splintered life;

Convulsed in misery, repulsed at strife

That tears, distorts, and damages my goods,

My blood, my name, as nothing ever should.

I, who had promised always to remain;

To cover with my life, to ease the pain

The world might bring, to be the priest

And savior of my brood and ask the least,

Found now in agony, no toys upon my floor,

No arms outstretched, no tiny voice, no more

The welcome sweetness of my purest son

To greet me as he's always done.

These fragments never more shall know

The unity, the oneness of my soul.

Hell appears inviting when I see

The agonizing silence awaiting me.

I never knew each cell could suffer so.

I never dreamed that like a vapor go

The lives I cared for -- cherished --loved

And dedicated to the Lord above.

A thousand devil-demons taunt me now

And jeer because I don't know how

To live again or even just begin.

I feel so vile within.

Un-Father's Day, I've heard before

Of men like me who've suffered more.

I never understood, 'til now,

The lethal agony of broken vows.

God, if You're there,

I pray You'll answer every prayer

Of men like me. We're so alone and we

Feel prayers are garbled messages

Of futility.

by Joan Clifton Costner
Copyrighted. All rights reserved.

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