Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Between the Darkness and the Light’ and other poems

by Nancy Machlis Rechtman

Photo by Bob Ward on

Between the Darkness and the Light

There is a demarcation
Between the light and the dark
Which you might think would be grey
But you’d be wrong.

Instead it has neither color nor substance
But separates the perfidious normalcy of the day
That dupes us into believing
We live beyond the shadows
Of our worst fears,
From the moment when we blink
And are sucked
into the vortex
Wondering why
When we look at the mirror
No image appears.

But the void has devoured any sliver of light
That might have escaped
To illuminate our way.
Yet we continue to seek affirmation
That there is substance to our mind’s eye
Despite there being no shred of tangible proof that anyone
Can see us or touch us through the opaque cloak
Shrouding every inch of our being.
Yet in these digital days
There’s not even the ticking of a clock to remind us
That time is passing,
When soon the sun will overtake the moon
And the veils that we can hide behind
And also within
Will once again shield us from the dread
That we are but stardust


Sacrificial Lambs

They’re our children
But in these times
They’ve been made sacrificial lambs
On the altar
Of the manufacturers of death
And those whose hands
Are covered with blood
As they greedily grasp the mighty dollar bills
They’re showered with
To keep quiet
And pretend to stand upright when they have no spines
Because they’ve been programmed to bleat out
Empty pro-life platitudes
As long as those lives
Aren’t inconveniently needing help
Or protection
Or are in danger
Or are hungry or poor.

But they’re our children! We scream into the void
As our loves seek safety
And cover
From their own classmates
Who are pounding on the barricaded doors
Doing target practice on anyone who moves
While our babies try to stay silent
As they’ve been taught
And they jump out the windows
Hoping to find a safe haven
And not more slaughter
On the other side.

It’s become a never-ending occurrence in this world of ours
As we see this same scenario play out over and over again
And even the news cycle
No longer bothers to make it the top story of the day
When children die.

But they’re our children!
Grieving parents scream
And broken children sob
How can we believe that this is freedom
When anyone can brandish weapons made only for battlefields wherever they want
Without the blink of an eye
Or the shake of a head.
What about the freedom for our children
To be safe from harm
Without lockdown drills
And emergency procedures
And the fear that they might not make it home
Or ever see their parents again

That no child should have to deal with just to learn
When being a kid is hard enough as it is.

We need to wake up and understand
That our children are traumatized
Watching this happen over and over again
And they wonder if their lives are worth anything
And why the only value seems to be on enriching the industry
That is insatiable in making profits
And owning the souls of those who should be making the right decisions
But instead no one is doing anything
To change it
So it just keeps happening
And they pray they won’t be next.


Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had poetry and short stories published in Literary Yard, Paper Dragon, Page & Spine, The Thieving Magpie, Quail Bell, Anti-Heroin Chic, Blue Lake Review, Goat’s Milk, and more. She wrote freelance Lifestyle stories for a local newspaper, and she was the copy editor for another local paper

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