When Your Number Is Up

When Your Number Is Up

She looked to the mountains
With the colors of red and gold
Like her brazen hair
A Celtic look strong and bold
Her husband a seaman
sailing the oceans seven
Like his father before him
a cabin boy at age eleven

Used to her loneliness
she cared for the croft
Sheep to be fed
and hay in the loft
Her feelings repressed
Who would hear her voice
The bairns too young
she didn’t have a choice

The small cottage
never dingy or unclean
A spotless home
A place that was serene
This day her thoughts
were indulgent and sublime
But they were ephemeral
Being in the world of maritime

A storm picking up
Dark clouds gathering
She rounded up the young ones
as the shutters began clattering
Just another day
This woman of resilience
Keeping home fires burning
Until her husband’s deliverance

Marking the calendar
Until his return on leave
Nine more days
Of wool to weave
One week and two days
Until he is home safe and sound
Sadly she did not know
That he had already drowned


Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Word Prompts:





OctPoWriMo – Poem a Day #29 – By the Numbers

Photo by Sean McGee on Unsplash

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  20 comments for “When Your Number Is Up

  1. October 30, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This is such a beautiful sad tale. I know you wanted to move away from the dark theme but you do it wonderfully.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 30, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Thank you my dear. It’s still sad though isn’t it? 😟

      • October 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        Yes, but the poignancy of your verses is unmatched. ❤️

      • Christine Bolton
        October 30, 2018 at 1:51 pm

        Yours sweet 😘

  2. October 30, 2018 at 9:29 am

    How clearly you have set the scene, established the characters, captured the sentiment, and then hit us with that ending.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 30, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Thank you! Actually I was headed in another direction and then it just went there 😔

      • October 30, 2018 at 12:18 pm

        Love when that happens

  3. October 29, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    You have woven a beautiful tale around the prompts. Poignant and sad, but beautiful.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 30, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Thank you so much Sadje 🙂💕

      • October 30, 2018 at 8:12 am

        My pleasure.

  4. October 29, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    I couldn’t say it better than Hélène and Gina. A lovely poem/tale. Well done!

    • Christine Bolton
      October 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

      Thank you Jordy 🙂💕 I really appreciate it.

      • October 30, 2018 at 9:40 am


  5. October 29, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    this is like the different acts of a play, folding right before me as I read – transcendental and deliberately poignant

    • Christine Bolton
      October 30, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Thank you so much Gina 💕🙂

  6. October 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Christine, your poem is amazing. It read like a true story. Surely it has been for a woman as you described.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 30, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Thank you Hélène. You’re so kind 🙂💕 It wasn’t true just something I was thinking about

      • October 30, 2018 at 9:05 am

        You write with a beautiful creative imagination, heartfelt words, poems.♥️

      • Christine Bolton
        October 30, 2018 at 9:36 am

        Thank you my friend. It means a lot 💕

      • October 30, 2018 at 11:11 am


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