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The Trance of Fear

how do we break it?

By Ward NorcuttPublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 1 min read
The Trance of Fear
Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

The children

with gentle guidance

quietly put their heads down on their desks

as the teacher calmly closes their door

they all share their love and good intention

for the wounded one next door screaming

above the register where animals and banshees exist


The child

with no language to express its need

continues faithfully

Monday through Friday

while the others soldier on

with glazed eyes like their teacher

oblivious now, dulled by habit

and circumstance


The mother

with weary shoulders

(before she lights a cigarette and drives away)

gathers her wild thing at day’s end

with a crinkle of a potato chip bag

she trudges away towards the rest

waiting, still backwards in car seats

while the child follows

clucking contentedly


The principal

with rigid arms

watches impotent

behind thin, office glass

the clock on the wall

just out of arm’s reach and still

an hour behind

even though it is Spring

but nowhere near the end of June


The father

with no thought at all

cuts left at a hundred

passing the old fogey

to beat the yellow

lost in his reverie mocking

the world wondering

where the last ten kilometers went


The grandparents

with trembling care

lock and bolt their door

discard their masks in the HandyBin

disinfect their hands

and the door

before washing all their groceries

and the bag in soap and water

the TV trays already set

the gin needs no remedy


Another weekend

arrives with

the child friendless

the mother witless

the father aimless

the principal powerless

the grandparents faceless


And yet

with fortitude

and loving purpose,

next door and beyond,


are being forged softly

gathered not to warn away

but to shine through the gloom

the way to haven

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About the Creator

Ward Norcutt

Playwright and poet.

My goal as a writer is to write thoughtful pieces of prose, poetry and stage plays. Hopefully, the end results are entertaining and engaging, with layers of meaning that make sense to the whole or a theme therein.

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Comments (2)

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  • Caroline Jane12 months ago

    It is like you know my family 😅 Well done.

  • Dana Crandell12 months ago

    Wow. A deep question with a host of well-intended answers that will be poorly received. Thanks for putting it out there and writing it so eloquently.

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