2005 Poetry in Labyrinth: “Arrival Gate” & “Evening News”

Labyrinth cover


Labyrinth Poem 

Evening News By: V.C. McCabe

Gunshot stain
on a tranquil town

Fear locks the doors at night
when once they were left open

to strangers and neighbors alike
to warm by hearth fires
and share a kind meal

Small town gossip
frozen stiff and cold
as the housewife corpse
on a manicured lawn

Blood-soaked flower garden

No one sleeps now
No one smiles now

No children playing
No faithful praying

Time stands still
on a Main Street corner
of a community in shell shock

Caught unprepared
for the grim reality
of human nature.

falling star gate

Arrival Gate By: V.C. McCabe


Eight hours of anticipation crawling through her skin,
she watches the frozen hands of the airport clock;

checking her reflection and her pocket once more for
the crumpled page scrawled with his flight number;

pacing the corridor of strangers departing, awaiting
introduction to the foreign boy fresh from flight.

The plane lands
and the rain
with her
perception of time

The crowd moves slowly across the tarmac
to the haven of fluorescent lights and greetings


Palms slick against her coat, eyes wild,
she searches for him among the travelers.

Stepping past a smile she pretends not
to recognize, her hands tremble with fear .

The hero of her imaginings is made of
stronger material than flesh and blood.

How can he carry all the burden she brings?
He calls her name, a cold grip on her heart.

There is no turning back now.
His mouth will whisper her fate.

Published by V. C. McCabe

V.C. McCabe is an Appalachian poet and the author of Ophelia (Femme Salvé Books, 2023) and Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019). She has edited for Barren Magazine, the New International Voices series (Ice Floe Press), and Frontier Poetry. Her work appears in ekphrastic exhibits and journals worldwide, including EPOCH, Poet Lore, and Prairie Schooner. Her website is vcmccabe.com.

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