A Living Death


The worst pain I’ve ever felt
was looking at you, reach for me
through a video screen and I couldn’t
touch you; right then, I knew
what it felt like to die, a living

A poem from a father to his youngest son.


  1. Reid Baron on June 18, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Such a tragic moment. Feel for you.

  2. Ginny on June 22, 2018 at 10:22 AM

    A living death- powerful last line! You may want to delete the comma before “reach.”

  3. Elise on June 25, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Your poem jumps out on the page, I like the way it is structured. It is a heavy reminder of missing loved ones in a technology driven world. In such a short time, you are able to transmit a large story that keeps the reader thinking long beyond the words have ended.

  4. Angel on June 30, 2018 at 5:16 PM

    Your poem is barely six lines, but it leaves a powerful impression and reflects a deep vulnerability. A suggestion to take it to the next level is to write the first 3 lines with more color. Maybe focus on the numbness of the video screen or the wide eyes of your son.

  5. Dan on August 14, 2018 at 10:05 PM

    TTB – This is a beautifully composed poem; it is also heart-wrenching. I especially appreciate how spare the verse is. Every word is necessary, every word rings true. Please keep writing.

  6. Freddie Hoskin on October 9, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    This poem is heartbreaking which I mean as a sincere compliment. In a single little slice it captures that moment, that single fleeting human gesture that just tears you heart to shreds when it cannot be fulfilled. It doesn’t add any unnecessary extra details and just presents the moment and the split second reaction to it which makes it all the more powerful.

  7. John on March 21, 2020 at 10:39 PM

    I pray that God gives you hope, and that You trust Him to help you through. This poem was heartfelt

  8. Kayelynn on April 21, 2020 at 4:05 PM


    A poignant piece. Even though it’s a short poem, you cut your readers to the core by sharing your pain in blunt lines. Even though the moment you share is a quick moment, we can see your desperation and depression on not being able to interact with your youngest son in person. You’re a great writer!

  9. Tori on May 1, 2020 at 12:11 PM

    This poem was so powerful. I could visualize what you were saying and your last lines right then, I knew
    what it felt like to die, a living
    death—, was a very unique way of describing the feelings you had.

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