The Curb

Dear friends:

The poem below is dedicated to all who have lost loved ones, to those who have healed, and those who still struggle with their pain, grief, and/or regret at not having said or done what they now wish they had while their loved ones were alive.

It is also written as a reminder to all whose loved ones remain alive: Cherish every moment! Make joyous memories every chance you can. Let them know you love them in countless ways. Make the most of every day. Celebrate their lives and be grateful every moment they are in yours. For life is short and precious.

P.S. As most of you know, I attempt to write mostly uplifting things. The poem below does not fall into that category. I’d rather have no one read it than to bring anyone down who needs cheering up.

The Curb

Alone again on this cold, dark, curb
Shivering in the rain
Waiting out the endless night
Engulfed by pain and shame

Soaked shoes make dams in the gutter
The stream, like life, rushes by
Indifferent to my existence
Too busy to care why I cry

Rain pounds my hatless head
A mighty sea on a broken shore
Magnifies my grief to the point
I can barely breathe anymore

Every drop an icy needle
Running down my neck to my toes
Mirrored by the tears that fall
In a never-ending flow

A searing string of questions
Taunts my tortured mind
How could this have happened?
How could life be so unkind?

It gave me all I wanted
A dear sweet family
Then ripped the lives of my sweet wife
And two young kids from me

That night a sleepy driver
Who was new to our old town
While looking for a street sign
Ran my family down

Their lives were gone in a heartbeat
While my heart beats on and on
I lost my mind the moment
My cherished ones were gone

I knelt with them in the blood and rain
Hugged them tightly to my side
With all my heart I wished they’d lived
And I was the one who’d died

If only I’d run faster
Might’ve saved my family
Or seen the danger sooner
Such regrets torture me

How can a heart so crushed
Stay alive so long
When everyone it loved
Are suddenly all gone?

So I’m alone again on this cold, dark, curb
Shivering in the rain
Waiting out the endless night
Engulfed by pain and shame.

–Russ Towne

About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Loneliness, Pain & Grief, Poetry I Wrote, Regret, Suffering, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Curb

  1. camsgranny says:

    There are no words, that was beautiful in a dark way.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you. Yes. Dark indeed. I tried to invoke the feelings of pain, grief, shame, and hopelessness that we probably all feel at times. To go there, to remember, and to let others who are feeling such things know that they aren’t alone. A reader who read this poem on another site said that it gave people in similar situations a voice. I hope that it does that, and helps people to cry so their tears can bring greater healing. And may their tears alert others to what they are going through so they don’t need to sit all alone on a cold, dark, curb shivering in the rain. May they find love, kindness, compassion and hope, and, if shame is part of what is torturing them, self-forgiveness.


  2. They are words that do remind us to make the most of each and every day with those we one can know what tomorrow may bring…Diane

  3. So dark and so beautiful

  4. For me this poem perfectly captures the danger inherent in allowing yourself to deeply love another—the pain of loss can be overwhelming. But how wonderful to experience that deep love for whatever time you’re allowed?….

    “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” William Faulkner

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Lori. There is danger indeed. A friend is the father of two boys. I have never seen anyone love his children more. One day one of his sons (a pre-teen) was standing, talking with friends, and a moment later he was gone, the victim of a brain aneurism. I was there when the brain surgeon told my friend that his son couldn’t be saved. I’ll never forget that moment or the devastation and grief suffered by that dear friend. I tried to capture that feeling in my poem.

      And yet, my friend doesn’t regret a single moment of the life he had with his son. He’d wisely been the best father he could and cherished every moment of his son’s life. Faced with the choice to do it all again, he would do it in a heartbeat. For what he gained by having that son was so much greater than even the almost unimaginable amount of pain he suffered at his loss.


  5. russtowne says:

    Reblogged this on Clyde and Friends and commented:

    The poem below does not depict anything that happened to me or my family. Also, please read my P.S. before reading the poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s