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Richard Hadley

Honorable Mention: 2017 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
Richard Hadley is a board certified chaplain and has been a Manager of Pastoral Care since 2015. His passion for helping others in the crisis of critical care and health care settings flows into his prose. Translating pastoral care events into poetry began when a supervisor during a Clinical Pastoral Education residency provided that one verbatim would be allowed in the form of poetic verse. Richard has used this as a tool for decompression and reflection ever since. In addition to writing poetry as a hobby, Richard also writes professionally as a ghostwriter. 


Langston Hughes is my favorite. He wrote:
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it
               I need you right now, Chaplain
Nurse demands.
We are the practitioners of peace making.
They call for our mojo to make it all better.
Duty drives the confidence of the chaplain on call;
Driving now to save the day with solace and soul care
Packed tight in the Pastoral Care Pack, here to answer
The protest –
This patient’s mom is out of control. Shaking him. Beating him.
“I can’t work like this,” the nurse protests.
“I can’t stand to see mom like this,” the son confesses.
“God gave His up his son, but I can’t give up mine!” the mom laments.
can’t fit into the room
Canted reality sent all hopes and dreams
to pile up loud like pots and pans
in a distant corner of the crowded room.
Meeting the family
               Reaching for mom’s hand
Introducing myself, she stretches me
               across her healthy son;
               against the sicker one in bed.
Her grip grows tight ‘til
Together, we form a hand bridge
over her family
               to herself
to the cascading falls
               of tears and hopes
               and fears and faith
I have no choice but to cross
               and with my free hand
I gently wrap my arm across her shoulder

Her tiny frame simply melts into my side
And sobs; great wailing sobs
               Dreams deferred
Then like ash: a tragic rain
Soft and still

But there are no goods
Or greens
That from this grows.
There is only ash;
the rain of pain
Falling softly now
               Quiet now
Catastrophic cacophony
               In piano notes
Stop the rain with your tears
Stop the thunder with your screams
Stop his passing with your peace

Chaplain, you cannot.

Copyright ©2017 by Richard Hadley