A Policeman at the Door

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4 January 2013 796 views No Comment

A Policeman at the Door

1950, New Year’s Day
The doorbell rings, a policeman at the door
Your father is dead
A wife is screaming, crying.

1990, 40 Years later
The doorbell rings, a policeman at the door-
Your son is dead.
A mother is screaming, crying.

If bad things come in threes
There’s another policeman out there,
Somewhere, sometime,
Waiting to ring a doorbell.

This poem was written about seven years ago, a few years after my attending a “Healing Through Poetry” workshop at The Wellness Community in Salisbury, Maryland. At that time the emphasis was on my Prostate Cancer and my wife’s Breast Cancer, so this poem was written and filed away.
Now that The Wellness Community, and its successor, the Cancer Support Community, shut the doors of this local chapter, we’ve opened our door to anyone searching for a way to heal. My poem, not about Cancer, reemerges with some relevance.
In 1950 my 49 year old father died of a heart attack on New Year’s Eve. He was found in his car, one block from home, by the police. 40 years later my 29 year old son was found in his apartment, dead of a drug overdose.
Just as writing about our Cancers helped my wife and I cope with our grief, this poem did the same for me in dealing with the sorrow of the deaths of my loved ones.

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