? innocence

 

I don’t feel it kind of strange, still I can feel it kind of sad…

To Santa Claus and Little Sisters

Once,
On yellow paper, with green lines, he wrote a poem,
And called it “Chops”,
Because that was the name of his dog,
And that’s what it was all about.
And the teacher gave him an “A”
And a gold star,
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door,
And read it to all his aunts.
That was the year his sister was born,
With tiny toenails and no hair,
And Father Tracy took them to the zoo
And let them sing on the bus.
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a Christmas card
Signed with a row of x’s.
And his father always tucked him in at night,
And he was always there to do it.

Once,
On white paper, with blue lines, he wrote another poem.
And he called it “Autumn”
Because that was the name of a season,
And that’s what it was all about.
And the teacher gave him an “A”
And told him to write more clearly.
And his mother didn’t hang it on the kitchen door
Because the door
Had just been painted.
That was the year his sister got glasses,
With black frames and thick lenses.
And the kids told him why father and mother
Kissed a lot,
And that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews,
And the girl around the block laughed
When he went to see Santa Claus at Macy’s.
And his father stopped tucking him in bed at night,
And got mad when he cried for him to.

Once,
On paper torn from his notebook, he wrote another poem,
And he called it “Question Marked Innocence”,
Because that was the name of his grief
And that’s what it was all about.
And the professor gave him an “A”
And a strange and steady look.
And his mother never hung it on the door
Because he never let her see it.
That year he found his sister necking on the back porch
And his parents never kissed, or even smiled.
And he forgot how the end of the “Apostle’s Creed” went,
And Father Tracy died.
And the girl around the block wore too much make-up
That made him cough when he kissed her,
But he kissed her anyway.

Once,
At 3 a.m., he tucked himself in bed,
His father snoring soundly.
He tried another poem, on the back of a pack of matches,
And he called it “absolutely nothing”
Because that’s what it was all about.
And he gave himself an “A”
And a slash on each damp wrist,
And hung it on the bathroom door,
Because he couldn’t reach the kitchen.

…written by a 15-year-old boy two years before he committed suicide

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