“Reconciliation” and Other Poems by R. Pegel

Robert Pegel is a husband and father whose only child, his son Calvin, died in his sleep of unknown causes at age 16. Robert writes about the human condition and the search for transformation. Robert holds a BA in English from Columbia University. He has been published in Door is a Jar, The Galway Review, Backchannels, Analogies & Allegories, The Madrigal, Remington Review and others. Robert lives in Andover, NJ with his wife Zulma.


The snow falls stealthily
undoing the troubled sky’s lament,
releasing worry that has no use anymore.
A lifetime full of mistakes
can’t be forgiven all at once.
Absolution comes with recognition
when we reset the clock
on a new day’s madness.
The struggle lies beneath the surface
where disengagement drives division
while relationships wither
like dried grapes on the vine.
Reconciliation is only possible
when a shared vision’s outcry
formulates a plan of future happiness.
Selfishness stunts growth and must be abandoned
like a toddler’s blanket.
The dance together must be done in harmony
where sweet music sung proclaims
sacred truths revealed.

Lost in Regret

I can still see your glow
lighting up the nighttime sky,
guiding me until the next day.
I’ll see you at exactly
the same time tomorrow.
Right after the beautiful sun sets.
I walk in the dark, eyes gazing high,
stars suspended magically in the sky.
Moon hanging low just a touch away.
Never leave me.
I can’t sleep and there is no point in trying.
I’m haunted and will have trouble
processing this impossible loss forever.
Wondering whether I could’ve changed
the course of events.
What went wrong?
Could it have been changed
if intuition somehow spoke to me,
stopped the course of action in its tracks?
If I told myself to wake up,
get up something is surely wrong,
in the middle of the night.
An impossible lesson learned.
Now it’s a lifetime of regret.
Healing starts with forgiveness.
Have to get to day one.
Lost longer than I could have ever imagined.
Searching for hidden purpose
in the midst of the sorrow.
Will be a struggle forever to get out of bed
and plant my feet on the floor in the morning.


Want to be tapped by a divine touch.
Something that makes this big world
become so much smaller.
Where everyone and everything matters
and cares about the same things.
Where people are willing to meet
in the middle and lend a hand.
Want to live in a place where time is valued
and mystery is understood.
Where events unfold the way
they’re supposed to happen and
people feel their connection
as part of a whole.
We all win and lose together.
Feel each other’s joy and pain
and suffer together.
Cry on a sunny day
and sing in the rain.
Nothing makes sense anyway.
Throw your heart into the fire.
Fan the phoenix’s flame.
Living in a life no one can explain
Searching for happiness
when the game is set up for
us to lose.
So lose we must.
Ourselves in the quest
for something more.
Content in knowing the journey
was never about trying to capture
fleeting emotion.
It would be easier to empty all
of the ocean with a clam shovel.

Picturesque Pause

The red-winged blackbird melodically
chirps while hiding in the branches
of the overgrown pine tree.
On an early morning in May.
Nothing is as bad as it seems.
What a shame we have to go
to work again today.
The ledgers and the money
can wait.
What’s important is in front
of us.
We need more time to listen
to the birds.

Pulling Back the Curtain

Why fear death when you weren’t afraid
before you were born?
Either death is a future forever sleep
for everyone or there is heaven for the good
but hell is a madness caused by the lack of love.
Nothing more.
If there is reincarnation what’s the hurry?
We can always start over no matter when we die.
Enjoy the body and mind you’ve rented for awhile.
Contemplate what you are capable of at your best
and venture past the walled exile of your doubts.

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?

The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

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