Image credit: Tolbert

i wept when i learned you had gone away…
taking the music of your heart,
my heart,
with you.

it was a simple tune
a slow melody
like i hoped life would be

and yet here i am
the hours have slipped away
like a six-shooter into the plastic holster
of a broomstick cowboy

and i want to hear your voice
one word, one giggle
just enough to dry my tears
with understanding

i hear the metric measure…
is it your heartbeat?
only the silence of my tears

© 2012, tolbert. All rights reserved.

tolbert (24 Posts)

Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, I have Southern roots that were extracted when I lived close enough to Berkeley in the late sixties and early seventies to taste the influences of the pursuit of freedom. As a student at San Jose State University I watched William Kuntsler expound on the values of free speech and he offered more education in an hour, on the lawn by the baseball diamond than most professors gave in a full semester. Married for thirty years, I have two grown daughters and three grandkids,..and two Boston Terriers.


  1. Tolbert, the loss of someone we love can be measured by “only the silence of my tears.” This is painful in its poignant beauty. I know it too well and felt it once again in this poem. That…is the mark of your great ability as a poet.

  2. Tolbert,

    You write of a sense of longing and loss that few have endured and fewer have survived intact.

    The cliche is “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Be that as it may, the experience you communicate in writing have surely made you more expressive in the finest and best sense of the term.

    It seems you are not making lemonade out of lemons, but diamonds from lumps of coal hurled at you by an unkind, unsupportive environment.


  3. tolbert

    Wow Larry. You have been reading my mail. I am so blessed by what you have said and I am in awe. Thank you so very much!

  4. Again you have done what poetry should do, you have touched my heart and found secret places that I keep hidden. But without knowing you take me back into those places, in a sadly beautiful way.

  5. Such well expressed sadness here. This is an ache we all hope we don’t have to get acquainted with. Sadly, many of us do. Well done.

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