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Life's Stage

"I don’t know his tragedy but I know mine"

Published onNov 12, 2023
Life's Stage

Photo by Alina Levkovich:

This one window stages the little girl two doors down, alone
in the grass with a purple-casted hand and a pink ball.
She tosses one, two, three, four against the stucco wall.
Could I catch her and say, though your dad’s temper is your only friend, you’re not alone?

This same window stages the depressed next-door neighbor,
who slips across the stage at day’s end,
whose texts read as a script: I need a friend.
I respond: I’m here, hoping brevity echoes despair. 

This window stages the middle-aged man down the street
whose labored steps are often pitied by the able.
I don’t know his tragedy but I know mine, and I want to whisper these syllables: Your step is noble, triumphant—a feat.

For life’s tragedy is when you see it but you do not feel it,
when empathy’s wind drums against the window:
Open. Though the night is dim, it’s still moonlit;
though the chorus is faint, our words cannot go unspoken.

Megan Huwa is a freelance editor in higher education and a poet and writer in San Diego, CA. Her work has been published in Letters Journal, The Penwood Review, The Midwest Quarterly (Summer 2023), The Habit podcast (Summer 2023), and her website Born the fifth generation on her family’s Colorado farm and a classically-trained pianist, she melds in her poetry aurality, rural life, and empathy through the varied voices and lives of those she observes. A rare health condition keeps her from living in Colorado, so her poetry reaches for home—both temporal and eternal.

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