Two Poems by Ed Ahern

These two poems by Ed Ahern explore the poet’s personal idiosyncrasies and foibles and display his sincere attempt to write tersely yet meaningfully…

by: Ed Ahern

Dear John

It was the worst and the best of letters,
written in the time of the cursive.
I was, she said, likable and smart,
and through no fault of mine
someone else had let her realize
that we weren’t meant for each other.
And hence our engagement was off.
She hoped I didn’t think badly of her
and that I could wish her well.

After two days the anger subsided
and relief surged through me.
Lust and convention had made us pair
and a sated ennui would have riven us.
I wrote back cursively to declare
that I wished her well and could she please
return the ring, which she did.
I never asked his name.

Fifteen years later she returned
to our home town for a visit,
newly divorced and regaining her footing.
She asked friends how I was doing
and was told married with children.
I flatter myself that she thought
well enough of me to ask.
I never heard anything else of her.


Compared to What

Life is sliding down the flat of a knife blade
while it’s being randomly waved,
and hoping not to slip into its sharpness.
I’ve never undergone a worst day-
bad and often cringeworthy of course,
but never irretrievably maiming.
We’ve had a miscarriage, but healthy children;
I’ve lost jobs but always found another;
been broken and scarred but always healed;
been bitterly disappointed in some,
but found many others who held true.
Feared that I’d failed myself,
but always found little successes,
feet set on the oiled blade.


Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over three hundred stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors.

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