by Mallory Nygard


I knew that you could not be here
while you were there,
and I knew they needed you. 
They had been chewing their hopelessness
like a cud 
until you died. 

And I don’t hear them anymore, 
the wailers and criers-out. 
Did you free all of them? 
Did you call all of them out of the depths, too? 

But that silence, 
for me,
is almost worse.

I want to only be happy 
for them.  

But for me? 
I miss you. 

I want you to be here
with me. 
Will you stay? 
Will you be staying? 

I walk home alone
from Golgatha. 
Mary couldn’t leave
and Martha couldn’t leave her. 

But I know
from the silence
that you are not there,
hung on the top of that hill. 

I feel like a child 
kicking rocks
further down the road. 

I lift my eyes 
but can see nothing above
through the storm. 

I feel unmoored
like the boat
Peter left untied 
during the last moon, 
pulled away
by some force greater 
than my desire to stay. 

I wonder if you would even want 
to come back. 
I can’t believe. I dare to hope. 
But I think I know. 

The silence will never 
be emptied.  

For all the anguish, 
the dissonant cacophony was at least familiar. 
I knew that pain. 
Is it wrong to say I will miss it? 


I knew that you 

hear them

is you 

I want you
like a child,

my desire
to hope. 

I think I 
will say it – 

Mallory Nygard lives and writes in East Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, North Dakota Quarterly, Ekstasis, Amethyst Review, Pigeon Parade Quarterly, and Ever Eden Literary Journal. Her poem “Song of Sarajevo” was named Best in Show at the 2021 Rehumanize International Create | Encounter. Her first collection of poetry, Pelican, was released in 2021.

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