Poem created for the prompt "Promises" in the Senior Centre for January 2015.
“So promise me you’ll say goodnight before I go to bed.”
“Of course I will, I promise,” her flustered father said.
But bedtime came without her dad—the little daughter cried
“He has to work,” her mother said. “But why has Daddy lied?”
“I promise I’ll respect you, just stay with me tonight.”
She felt a strange uncertainty, but thought she’d be alright
A month has passed, he’s gone away and never to return
She’s left alone and pregnant now, nowhere for her to turn.
“To share our lives for ever, this promise made today.”
A loving future lies ahead, for happiness they pray.
But then they change, the promises begin to fade and die.
They part in anger, part in grief, with bitter tears they cry.
“I promise no more beatings, no more shouting, no more pain.
I promise not to hurt you or harm you ever again.”
But promises like this are frail, the deeds scream crude and hot
The cycle spins again, it seems abuse becomes her lot.
“Tomorrow when you cast your vote, be sure to vote for me.
I promise no more taxes, fair goes for all, you’ll see.”
But politicians’ promises melt like the snow in spring.
Despair and disillusion will crush any hope they bring.
“My promise to the people in this war against a foe
We must use what power is needed to force the fiend to go.”
Then hide behind the mantra of ‘respect for all our troops’
While treating us, the people, as a bunch of witless dupes
“I promise that you’ll feel no pain, I’ve done this very often.”
The surgeon’s voice allays the fear, the tension starts to soften.
“We’re losing him!” the nurse cries out, the stress too hard to take.
“Too late, he’s gone; I’ll tell his wife,” grief flowing in his wake.
“I am the way, I am the truth, the very life I am.”
A promise made to all mankind by Christ, the Paschal Lamb.
And thus the faithful fear not death, a bliss that never ends.
But who can tell, and who can know before the dark descends?