Somewhere, a child pretends to sleep—
eyelids fluttering in the nightlight’s
flannel glow—while an office worker
feigns wakefulness in his cubicle,
startling at each chirping phone.
Someone is catching a ball.
Someone is catching her breath.
Someone, somewhere is lingering
between this world and the next.
Things come and go. Things
go and go. Because of the ocean,
the sky is blue. Because of death,
we learn how to live. Or do we?
Someone, somewhere is saying I do.
From Distant Glitter by Erin Murphy. Copyright © 2013 by
Erin Murphy. Reprinted with permission from Word Poetry.
This poem’s cast of characters are handled deftly to allow the final assertion to be wonderfully ambiguous.
The way that this poem acknowledges life is both truthful and imaginative. This poem points at a reality that is constantly haunting us like a shadow, a reality that is so often forgotten or ignored or forced away instead of confronted. “Vow” does this work with a striking subtlety and a reassured quotidian that pushes the poem forward every line.
Erin Murphy reads her poems, including "Vow" (video)