Saturday, August 21, 2010


she sat on a dirty park bench,
her hair in disarray.
she wasn't sober.
i expected her this way.
it was morning.
she wore no jacket.
i saw the ugly track marks,
on both of her arms.
snowflakes fell on her hair.
she looked like she was inside,
one of those glass balls.
the kind i used to shake...
at happy, winter, chritmas times.
her eyes brimmed with tears of hopelessness.
she was abandoned by her family,
as a result of her hopeless addictions.
her broken promises,
her failure as a daughter,
her failure as a wife,
and as a mother,
framed this face of desolation.
nora, was her name.
she was thirty-nine years old.
i wanted to take her under my wing.
i knew her from years past.
she was so young, beautiful and full of life.
she wanted no part of me.
she hissed at me, like a frightened cat.
i knew it was too late.
the world had its' way with her.
she was beyond redemption.
she stumbled off in wet, dilapidated shoes.
she shakily lit a cigarette.
she looked feeble, old and tired.
she hobbled like an elderly woman.
i put my hand on her shoulder.
she pulled away, and gave me a look of disgust.
"what's the matter with you?", i said.
i offered to buy her a cup of coffee.
"maybe i can take you can get warm?"
she looked at me as if i were a crazy man.
i feared what she might say.
so i walked away.
i left her stumbling through the snowflakes.
she traveled through the dark, chicago, winter morning.
i watched as she walked down an alleyway.
garbage was being thrown out, by dishwashers in white jackets.
restaurants were opening steel alley grates.
old and fetid food was being thrown in dumpsters.
none of the kitchen help, paid her any mind.
years ago, they would have been whistling at her.
she tottered away, crazily.
she disappeared into wisps of smoke,
fog, and kitchen steam.
she was a phantom now.
she was a memory of my past.
beautiful nora...
who was abandoned by her family,
her dealer,
and me.


  1. Wow, I want to read so much more from this... I am so intrigued with the backstory of this Nora. So much of her could be me... not the heroine or cigarette attachment, of course. Perhaps you could substitute those vices for alcohol with me... perhaps. Only on a bad, bluesey day like today, maybe. Absolutely incredible gift you have, Mr. Cronborg.

  2. Dear Shelly...Only those who faced addiction or alcoholism, can write like this...I am sober and drug free for seven years...This is my lucky year...Message me, if you want information on how to obtain my books...I ship anywhere in the U.S...and sign the copy I send...Once again, thank you for your wonderfully kind comment...Rich

  3. We have all known Nora........maybe by another name or in another place. There but for the grace of another time and with a different face. We have this fantasy about redemption and salvation whereby we fall so low that all that remains is up. It happens, we muse. Maybe it happened to us. But for the Nora's of the world such ideas only bring more pain.....the pain of the illusion that they have a choice.

  4. i knew many noras, martin...and i am grateful that i am a survivor, and didn't have to die with a needle in my arm...i guess god wanted me to paint and write...amazing.