my #oneshotwednesday submission to @onestoppoetry.

there were these little children
i remember them
growing up down different dirt roads
and i would ride my bike past their houses
i would see them playing in the yards
and i kept going

in school i rubbed shoulders with some of them
never really spoke to them much
i would try to smile
but i wasn’t really there
and he told me not to put down roots
so i listened and moved on

sometimes i swing closer
to the intersection of this duality
and wonder about their lives
what happened to them
some of it happened to me too
but i was so thirsty
and she whispered dreams to me

there was one with cornstalk hair
and a beautiful face
sparkling eyes
hiding so much pain
i know he forgot it
until he no longer could
that’s why he was nice to me
brothers

i regret that i left them
i hope that they read this
if i could go back and talk to them
i would tell them to be free
and not to give up
i would tell them that
it doesn’t have to end like this
i would give them a pen or a brush or a guitar
or whatever tool they’d need
to replace the drugs
and make something beautiful
out of something so hideous

but i’m not there
and i can only go back through my words
so my prayer is that they find them
or find something
to show them
they’re not alone
and it doesn’t have to end like this

“out, baby, out…before it catches up with you…”

for “L” & “B” and the others…

by JTW
©2011 JTW “jtwhitaker.com” All rights reserved.