That Flash Before Your Eyes

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
“The Torrents of Spring” (1926)- Ernest Hemingway

Life, Death, and That Flash Before Your Eyes

From a pram to this hearse. This dark.
To wear the dark. This simple nothingness.

It’s fitting funeral weather.
Weather is a funeral’s skin.

Mud sucks.

It’s a brute sky,
and the sun is broken.

But I didn’t waste my years – too late
for a rewrite. Hindsight.

I trespass on sentences. My last words.
Are there still vowels in my mouth?

My grandchildren are a taste of moonlight.
They’re a reflection. The sun. A rip of light.

Two sons are mine from another woman.
It is no small thing, this love for them.

A terrible gloom when a girl’s father dies.
Grief is a terrible primary colour.

Wed. I wanted the whole of him.
Breathless. He was on my tongue.

But how do they fly, I asked.
They’re weightless, he said.

The Lord is my shepherd, I said.
Confirmation is always white

as snow as mountain tops as cotton socks.
As plimsolls. Belly white. Toothpaste.

The smell of salt. Scent of isopropyl.
Lavender. Soap. And ether. Ether.

Breath held in this vast swing of sky.
Ready. To begin. I begin.

The dark. To wear the dark. To be
the dark in this simple nothingness.

written to prompts: dVerse One True “Hemingway” Sentence” and Miz Quickly’s Big One. Image is micro-abstract of Hieronymus Bosch’s signature on his painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Shared with @Experimentsinfc #APoemADay on Twitter   ©Misky 2021

23 responses to “That Flash Before Your Eyes”

  1. Amazing poem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dark and sonorous, bells of words chime, phrases that accumulate like soil. I love the line about weather is a funeral’s skin. Just spot on. I love it!!! Amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! I’m glad you liked it. 😃


  2. Yes! This is wonderful poetry! Hits hard, resonates, like a stream of consciousness but better! A friend of mine, my age, passed in her sleep last night ….. another reason your words have deep meaning today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad that it touched you at your time of loss, Helen.


  3. Misky, your poem begs to be read aloud. It’s exquisitely beautiful and sad. I like how you matched up colors and shadows with the feelings and the “odd” pairings that really make the verses jump vividly. I’m guessing you were talking about either Bosch or Hemingway at the end of their life. Can you tell I love this poem?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! I wrote it from my own perspective, which I suppose is the only perspective I have. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re most welcome, Misky 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. excellent, history and motion and stop motion, all with felt emotion in few words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mark. 😄


  5. Wonderful work of winding back the clock!


    1. Thanks so much. Glad to liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lufituaeb yletulosba!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. !Uoy knaht! !! 🤣

      ?Where do I put the punctuation?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully written! A life in flashback, succinctly captured in a few sharp words. The refrain of the dark is perfect.


    1. Thanks so much, Grace.


  8. I really love this poem… one of your best (which says a lot) I love the dwindling journey in life and how those little snippets of light.

    As snow as mountaintops made me think of “the snow of Kilimanjaro”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that lovely comment.


  9. This is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant! 💝 I especially love; “My grandchildren are a taste of moonlight. They’re a reflection. The sun. A rip of light.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🥰


  10. All the tangles of our memories–the layers of our lives. Beautiful. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading it! Glad you enjoyed it, K.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This poem is stunning. I love every chink and nuance. These lines especially:
    “Mud sucks.” (the sensory impressions of this – wonderful!)
    “The sun. A rip of light.”
    “Grief is a terrible primary colour.”
    “Breath held in this vast swing of sky.”
    You expressed the pure smarting feeling of grief so well. Very powerful poem ❤


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