“Vows” by W. Luther Jett


All the sandwiches we never ate.
All the sentences we never completed.

The building unfinished; the promise
unkept. The sky that stopped
just short of the horizon. From these
and more, I say, from this time
until the next—Release us.

Because we are frail, reeds
by the river, swept by flood.
Because we forget or because
we recall—Release us.

We ask for bread and are not
satisfied. We ask for stone
and sand runs through our fingers.

And even so—Release us.

From all the songs we never sang.
From all the roads we never walked.
All the time
we had to lose.

Let the small rains come.
Let our tears roll down.


Headshot-LutherJettW. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland and a retired special educator. His poetry has been published in numerous journals as well as several anthologies. He is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father (Finishing Line Press, 2015), Our Situation (Prolific Press, 2018), and Everyone Disappears (Finishing Line Press, 2020). An additional chapbook, Little Wars will be published in 2021 by Kelsay Books.