Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One more day...

Put a cap in your kid and end this, your clenched fist
counts months on tucked fingers til his ass his out,
least that's what comes out your mouth...

& we play hide and seek on side streets,
as rains slicks, shines to sheen asphalt in street side lights
and whose fault is it that he is somewhere else
perhaps curled in a ditch, strung out, accosted,
stomach in hunger knots, not yet at least,
it's only been a six hours, but the temp is dropping,
but surely not you cause all you got is "i don't care---"

tires part puddles like ripping paper, head lights
the knife to slice the night & cut the curtain of water
and its pointless to keep circling ever larger concentrically
but he is texting me, and as long as he does i am
assured he is alive and not doing something stupid

i am sick of this bs

seventeen, on the cusp of being a man, trying to prove
he is one and dad's determined  to keep him down,
knocking him down to where he believes he belongs, at the top
of his lungs "I AM THE PARENT WHICH MEANS
I AM ALWAYS RIGHT" as if position, imposing visage
& threats of force will end in any thing else but friction,
each with conviction in their own mental fiction, unwilling
to listen, either one

nothing is ever gonna change, so i am done

& i hear him, as they stay home warm, mom
scared out her mind and dad---on the computer
playing video games---

while i turn up the radio
so i don't hear the cell phone chime that the battery is low,
denying the inevitable conclusion of the only connection
we have with a scared kid, (cause that's all he really is)
with no where to turn, turning round and round
with no way out

& i know he feels insignificant in a world no longer
making any sense, cause i been there on the lip
of the toilet ready to fall in & flush and i steeple hands
either i or the blues find him first when---

hey bro, i am ready to come home

i need help

& i turn the car south, exhaling hard, widow fog
but not relief because there's two sides to every war
and surrender doesn't mean the other lays down arms
so hold off the credits this ain't the movie's end
it's just a pre-view, now the real battle begins

[BULLHORN] chssss Sir, please step out of the house
and put down any weapons...Any thing you say can
and will be used to hurt your son

71 comments:

happygirl said...

"two sides to every war"
This is a heartbreaking tale you've spun, my friend. What to do? what to do? I've dipped my toe in this war and it scares me and he's 24.

Rachel said...

this is ripping and gorgeous.

powerful enough to bring tears, knowing i was the rebellious one that drove my parents to tears.

Daniel said...

Kind of hard to witness or even think about this sort of parent/child relationship. I think about the beauty of my own relationship with my daughter and can only shake my head where these others went so wrong. Was it always like this? Where did it spin out of control? Where did simple love and innocence die or wither away? Can anything be done to set things on a path to recovery or are they too set in their ways? Is it worth it?

Helen said...

Having had my own hiccups along the way .. as well as my offspring .. I am thankful we have journeyed beyond it. This is spellbinding Brian!

Sue said...

I think you and my eldest son would have a lot to talk about. He isn't a poet, but I've had this conversation with him many times.

"/

Sue said...

PS. I think I've told you he's an MFT who works with troubled adolescents and their families.

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, this is so powerful, Brian. I love the descriptions within the car... the puddles, low battery light, etc and how it puts you right there in the middle of this poem. So sad for kids like that... with parents who don't care and no structure in their lives. Asking for help is a HUGE first step, though. I really hope it all works out.

Rae said...

Very intense and speaks so true. Reminds of the teenage conflict my grandson is experiencing right now.

Lolamouse said...

Fathers and teenaged sons-the inevitable war. Never any winners in that battle. And moms wear the battle scars.

The Silver Fox said...

Tragedy, or inevitable rite of passage? Guess it depends on the individual situation.

Pat Hatt said...

Conflict sure does arise
But doesn't greatly cut ties
At least if one has any luck
otherwise it's just wtf
Relationships are work no matter the one
And some would rather just be done
With it all
Leaving their kid hanging on a wall

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

The tension in this was pretty intense, well done Brian.

Messy Marriage said...

I'm so glad this young man has you as his ally, mentor, safe place to fall. I suppose this is just the first chapter. Will we hear more about "this" young man? And is this something you're dealing with right now, today? I will pray for you in all that you endeavor to do and bring to the situation and person, Brian.

rain :: said...

chills.
you paint entire worlds with your words.

Mama Zen said...

"and i steeple hands
either i or the blues find him first"

That's such a hard and helpless place to be. Powerful write, Brian.

hedgewitch said...

Ah, brian--what a constant world of pain there is out there, and how hard it is when you can only do so much, see burdens falling on shoulders too young to even understand them. Strong write, hard story.

Fred said...

Powerful imagery here. Love the way you chose to tell this tale. I don't have any but I have been a son and yes those conflicts can be epic, scary, and relieving when they are through. Excellent piece, really paints a scene. Thanks

tinkwelborn said...

Powerful, visual, painful.
A great piece of work!

Tara said...

I feel this world. I own your words. We all have a responsibilty here.

suzy said...

This is such a vivid poem! I felt caught up in the drama, the emotion, the build up.
This is such a common scenario. Tragic and heartbreaking for both sides.

simplystriving said...

I get this.
I wish I didn't.

Powerful poem, Brian. Thanks for tugging on my heart today.

~nikki

PattiKen said...

Oh, gosh. I wish this had a happy ending, but I suspect it didn't.

rosaria said...

Such is the drama you get to unravel every day.

Love that first line, addressing the father, getting the reader invested in the hide and seek story, watching the search from inside a car.

The best part for me is the inescapable chase, the search and the sense of loss we all feel that this chase, even at the end, it's not over, that it continues to circle all around.

The tragedy of this young man's life is not going to end well, this says, it is just 'one more day' away.

Susie Clevenger said...

This brings so many things home to me. I worked for 20 years with youth. Hunted for runaways, grieved precious young women murdered..I was often the last stop to see them either turn around or get lost to the streets. There was always that deep seed in my I couldn't give up on them. Such a powerful, moving poem.

kaykuala said...

Chilling when it gets on to someone so dear. Dreaded such episodes.The cry for help often comes at critical times. You really brought home the point,Brian!

Hank

LauraX said...

heartache-ingly, break-ingly beautiful Brian.

Magpie said...

"but not relief because there's two sides to every war
and surrender doesn't mean the other lays down arms"
So true and so sad...

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

That is so incredibly sad. :(

oceangirl said...

Two sides to tough love.

emily wierenga said...

oh no... is this for real, friend? oh, i ache... and i'm crying...

Katherine Krige said...

This is raw Brian. You have such strength to be able to do this, but I can understand how you just can't NOT reach out and do whatever you possibly can. You deserve accolades and hard hugs from your kin, for being the man that too many others never even consider.

Peace to you B

TALON said...

Oh, I have known parents like this and children like this... such struggling.

KB said...

Powerful piece.

Theresa Miller said...

The realization that this is not the end, but the beginning is huge. And it's a step in the right direction. Prayers for you through this trying and difficult time...

Tara Miller said...

How sad when this is a child's reality and the parents don't care. So glad you were his life line. I say again, you, love, are a blessing to these boys and touch their lives in ways you'll never know. Thank you for that.

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

You hit it right here with these lines: "as if position, imposing visage
& threats of force will end in any thing else but friction,
each with conviction in their own mental fiction, unwilling
to listen, either one"...so sad...glad you could be a help :)

adeeyoyo said...

Excellent write, Brian! You have such a gift, not only with words but the ability to put yourself in another's shoes which this shows to its best advantage... And the shock ending - what a shock!

Claudia said...

oh dang - the good thing is that he'll be 18 soon but these voices will not stop when he closes the door to his parent's home...it needs other voices...more powerful.. to substitute them..good you were there for him..maybe one of the few people he trusts at the moment..

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, sorry again for my belated visits.;) Was here already yesterday but got interrupted in blogging by P.;)
This piece made my heart heavy. I feel you contemplate a lot of dark subjects these days dear friend. And yet it is so important to remember that this is a reality for so many families...
Have a great day dear Brian,
xoxo

Lorraine said...

it hits me hard, the intensity of what you do, how you write it, it leaves me ...powerless but for a prayer, raw

ladyfi said...

So heart-breaking; so well written.

the walking man said...

Sounds pretty normal to me...only thing is when I was 17 I never went back again until after the old man was dead.

Goofball said...

:(

why is there so many broken families :(

Daydreamertoo said...

Life is hard, especially for some kids who are 'throw aways'. Thank God for people like you who care Brian.
In the UK they have a 24/7 call help line called The Samaritans. They are trained to take all types of calls from people at the end of their rope, or, who have no-one to talk to. A friend of mine is a volunteer, it is all unpaid but so professional. She has been doing this now for a year and she said, the calls she takes vary, but one caller was in such a bad way she got under her skin and when she came off the phone she cried, and cried.
Thank God for people like her, and you who offer all these people the thing they need the most...an ear to listen and a little bit of hope.

Dave King said...

To my mind it all turns on:-
on the cusp of being a man, trying to prove
he is one and dad's determined to keep him down,
knocking him down to where he believes he belongs, at the top
of his lungs "I AM THE PARENT WHICH MEANS
I AM ALWAYS RIGHT" as if position, imposing visage
& threats of force will end in any thing else but friction,
each with conviction in their own mental fiction, unwilling
to listen, either one

This is such a common situation, and I do think it most often has its roots in the father's fear that there will come a time when he won't be able to control his son by force so will lose control. If only the right relationship had been built when the boy was a tot...

Powerful poem, well crafted.

Daydreamertoo said...

BTW, she is trained to never, ever discuss with anyone outside of the organisation to talk about the calls she takes. She never goes into any details, just that sometimes it is pretty scary and hair raising at times.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

what a powerful write!
this is such a heart-breaking one, too.

you're a great poet!

blaza1 said...

Gosh, what an amazing read! intense all the way through, amazingly written

izzy said...

I am very relieved he asked for help- like you say, it is not the end of the story tho...I was so fortunate to have a someone on my radar that I could call.Not always family- Not always the same person.
That is why we folk need to pay attention! Hear and see what is going on around us. Great piece Brian, thanks.

mydomainpvt@gmail.com said...

parent/child relationship is quite tough one.

it takes a lot of tact and luck to be a good, loved parent.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Powerful imagery that sent a chill down my spine.

Son spreading his wings and he equally afraid of the big wide world out there as we are of him discovering it!...

Well written piece - spot on!

Anna :o]

Heather said...

this is so sad....poor kid...really - i like the vibe of this, too and the way you put it together - i have my fingers crossed for this guy...hoping he chooses the future and can get out from where he is

manicddaily said...

Very sad. Ugh. So sad. Close very strong. One question - I did not understand line two or through "til his ass his out"- is that second his a typo? It may not be as obviously the whole cadence here is abbreviated and colloquial, but wasn't sure. k.

missing moments said...

Powerful, painful and heartbreaking ..you are a master with your words!

CiCi said...

Don't you just hate to hear people say that just because they are the parent they are right. One of the most ignorant things to say.

This is such a moving post, particularly to someone like me.

Cathy said...

Wow. And if I didn't say it loud enough, WOW! Civil war, not for the faint of heart. And yes yes yes there are 2 sides to every war, and the destiny, the outcome of the battle, is so much bigger and wider and powerful than the sum of the sides...

ayala said...

Heartbreaking, powerful and brilliant.

Okie said...

intense

I love it

Amy Sullivan said...

Eeeek. I like how you draw us in and make us feel.

lori said...

:( prayers for you as you try to bridge gaps that must seem more like impossible chasms . . .

FrankandMary said...

Terrors grow exponentially.
~Mary

wood said...

"Put a cap in your kid and end this"

thats a hell of a way to start all of this, very well done, unrelenting, a finger on an exposed nerve, all the way thru the poem.

tough kids in tough places, you tell the story well, too well. but that's what good poetry is, too much reality and something inside bursts.

Mrsupole said...

Helplessness is such a terrible feeling especially when we cannot help someone we care about. We can only try to do our best and pray that it helps.

It is so sad that children are not able to be children as long as possible and live in a safe environment. Oh if only we could protect them all and keep them safe from those that wish them harm.

Thankfully there are people like you who try to do their best to help them.

God bless.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Brian,

You know how you said you were having problems leaving comments, I think it is because blogger is in the middle of making changes to their comments section. Did you see over at Theme Thursday how now we can make a reply to a specific comment. I have noticed that it seems to be only at places that have their comments posted under their posts. I think they are still working out the kinks for the other types of comments.

Anyway it is cool because now we can leave comments directly under their comments.

Oh and I am not sure if you remember that I had posted that poem in '09 and you had written about how you and your wife had first met. I have always remembered that story and I re-posted it because I loved that story of finding true love.

God bless.

PS...Happy TT.

Syd said...

Such a long road to go. And so many more out there, messed up, messing up a long time, and the families a mess too.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I feel like I've been thrown across the room and beat into a wall .. so I reckon that means it works. (Happy TT) -J

Birdie said...

it's difficult to read and even more difficult to imagine ... and then there are people like you Brian who do care about others ... have a wonderful w-e :-)

william said...

sadly it takes all sorts to make this World go round, this was powerful, and as always masterfully written.

Nacole said...

brian,

this was an intriguing, shocking, heartbreaking poem. when i read the first line, i wasnt sure wanted to finish...so glad i did. because this is the reality of our world and if i had not read it, i would not have been reminded of this.

i am sorry you are dealing with this. i will be praying for you and this young man.


blessings,

Nacole

http://sixinthehickorysticks.blogspot.com/2012/01/4-ways-to-radically-change-your-life-in.html

Sarah in Maine said...

Powerful use of images.
Gripping.
Thank you for sharing.
Peace,
Siggi in Downeast Maine

Myrna R. said...

My heart is breaking. Too sad, this poem, too real. How do we save them? I know some don't make it, like my friend's daughter who overdosed. Another friend's son is now so sick, he cannot function.

But many do make it Brian. It takes just one person who cares, and I know often, you're it.