by Susan McLeod-Harrison
(For my cousins who lost their sister by her ex-husband’s hand)
I. The angels stood guard like the hollyhocks
In my garden: swaying in the wind, yet
Immobile. A portal had opened, how they knew not,
Only that her time had come.
So their wings closed and their fists unfurled
Into open hands to carry her home.
II. The angels fought hard, they flurried
Energy into second thoughts,
Shone light to a flinching face,
Blew rain into an inflamed mind.
In the end they lost to his will,
A simple human man, whose
Treasure had long been lost
With eyes too dim to see it.
III. The angels went with her that night,
Seeing ahead. Leaving the fighters
To their strain, they whispered warnings,
Alternate routes, the importance of avoidance.
Her own drive to protect won out.
All she could hear was her children’s voices.