Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenged me to create a poem based on the feelings that come from listening to a memorial song. The poem I wrote is about a special version of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer and how it reminded me of a very dark time in my life after September 11th, 2001.
The first funeral is halfway there.
Why does everything seem slow when you’re small,
But only to discover time stands much stiller in graveyards?
His family doesn’t understand the protocol,
They are slow to take his folded flag from the honor guard.
Was he living on a prayer?
The second funeral is halfway there.
His family has moved everything out but left the garden gnome,
He stands forgotten next to cardboard box remains.
My next-door neighbor just never came home,
Snuffed out of existence by a 400,000-pound metal hurricane.
Are they now living on a prayer?
The third funeral is halfway there.
I can still hear my wife sobbing on the phone,
Nothing can make you unsee that ball of fire.
She held me so tight when we were finally alone,
A time to count blessings from a world so dire.
Is she still living on a prayer?
The fourth funeral is halfway there.
He never saw that plane coming for his chair,
Carrying that last letter on an 800-mile-per-hour thief.
His casket was sealed to keep in the nightmare,
So she draped herself over it in complete grief.
Will she now be living on a prayer?
The fifth funeral is halfway there.
Her husband holds their two children with grace,
‘Where’s mommy?’ they innocently keep asking him.
He can’t cry, so tears run down my face,
Hoping she’s nearby during the Hallelujah hymn.
Will they go on living on a prayer?
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