1.11.2013

From Father to Son

I was five when I heard those gunshots
echo across town
It was a hot night, July of ‘96
I was cuddled up with Mom
The bedroom window was open
She was singing me to sleep
It was such a peaceful song

I remember how she flinched
In an instant
I knew
She knew
That a part of both of our lives
was gone

* * * * * * *

Let me tell you a tale
About a guy who died too damn young
I’ve heard he could’ve been a standup comedian
Man, how I’ve lived with his demons…

The man I remember
is a memory I want to forget
That thunderous knock on the door
“Let me in! I just want to see my son!”
The welling tears in her eyes, my mom
Telling me to hide

He was only twenty-five
I don’t remember much
I meet him through their stories
Apparently, he was everyone’s friend
People gravitated toward him
Ironic
that he was the only one
Who brought himself down
Ironic
that he brought others up
But practically put himself in the ground

My dad met his end because of $200 worth of meth
I know the name of the man who shot him
I know they still haven’t caught him

* * * * * * *

I’ve met a lot of the people he was close with
It’s the same thing, every time
They gasp when I walk in the room
Sometimes even begin to cry
Sometimes I cry without even knowing why
It took me awhile to see
I have such a hard time missing him
Because he still walks with me
He still talks to me

My angel tells me to confront my demons
Tells me to be different
This time I'm listening

76 comments:

  1. Alex the imagery in this poem is amazing. I especially loved the second to last stanza.

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  2. oh dang alex..is this your story..? so moving...really tucking at the heart strings.. so sorry for your loss...that's so tough... but really wonderfully written..you give us an idea of how he was..

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    1. Yes, this is my version of the story. Like I said, though, I'll never know everything.

      Thank you for always taking the time to read my work, Claudia.

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    2. We never know everything about anything. I like how you describe yourself: "aspiring human being". I'm trying to do that too. Your poem is deeply moving.

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    3. Everything about anything... I like that. Thanks, Mark. Nice meeting you.

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  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs to you!

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  4. Alex, your story touches me deeply. Not easy to live with the past and not easy to live with his demons. Your dad will always walk with you and he will wish you have a better life than he had.

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    1. Thank you for the comforting words, Ayala.

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  5. Alex, what a strong personal poem you have written here. Nothing spared, you have told it as you lived it. That must give you pause when people look at you and see the resemblance between you and your father. I understand the crying, the hard time missing. You are missing what you wished you had, what he could have been probably, if it were not for the meth! I hope to read more from you.

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    1. It stops me in my tracks, definitely, but I know that their tears are out of joy. Thanks for reading, Mary.

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  6. dang man...you start with a bang (really no pun intended because it was felt) and then the fallout...the loss is great man and wondering at him...listen to your angels...and def write more of this...its tight...

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    1. I'll always listen. I appreciate the input as always, Brian.

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  7. According to some legends, it was the demons who used to be our guardians, funny the way they choose to haunt us...force us to see that that we'd rather ignore, forget...you've been handed a legacy like a double-edged sword...and I'll admit that perhaps my eyes aren't dry as I type this...but the fact you could share with us in such a way, speaks volumes to your talent and that the best is yet to come. I'll cry with you...because your words made me. At least I know why.Emotion packed, incredibly powerful and moving write.

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    1. Wow, Tash... that made ME cry. Thank you - so, so much.

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  8. Well, your words made me cry...darn it, such raw and personal, it tears my heart ~

    But I hope you will find your peace, even if it means slaying your demons ~ Have a lovely week ~

    Grace

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  9. Well done and packed with emotion. Poems based on experience are always the best, I think. Peace, Linda

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    1. I think so, too.Thanks for stopping by, Linda.

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  10. wow Alex.
    thank you for sharing this piece.
    facing our demons isn't necessarily a bad thing - they 'haunt' us, until we realize there's something we need to work on. they're reminders of the past - mostly, we call them demons because they remind us of pain and suffering.
    it might be a fierce battle but it's always worth the fight.
    listen to your heart - it will lead the way.
    i am sorry for your loss.

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    1. Yes, always worth the fight. Thanks for stopping by & reading my work.

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  11. Thank you, Alex, for having both the courage and the creativity to write and share this autobiographical piece. Your story, so personal, is also quite universal. Many of us have lost, or nearly so, a father, a son, a brother, loved one to drugs or the accompanying dangers. I hope that writing, talking, sharing enable you to better understand and to perhaps exorcise.

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  12. Thank-you for sharing a part of you. The first stanza stood out the most to me. I could picture it vividly.

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  13. Very moving. The beginning especially strong. Good luck. k.

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  14. this is prolly the most powerful write I've read from you.. I'm amazed my man.. took a lot of guts... the vulnerability you've shown is incredible! great stuff...

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  15. This is heartwrenching, really well written, open, raw and honest. Keep listening, keep writing, this is powerful stuff.

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  16. This is heartbreaking, would be a brilliant live piece.

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    1. I just might have to consider that. Thank you, Jennifer.

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  17. sometimes it takes awhile to listen to good advice

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    1. Great advice, in & of itself. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. Alex, I have been friends with your mom for years. Not sure if she was even pregnant with your sister yet or not...You were just a little boy then, and an amazing Big Brother when she did come into this world. I have stayed in touch with her through the years and have been continuously impressed by the quality and tenderness of The Spirit and Strength inside you. You really do carry blessings with you, which has never ceased to amaze me. You have grown into a fine young man. Kitty is beyond proud of her son, and for grand reasons. Thank you for sharing your story, which I had heard years ago; but the impact through your heart takes my breath away. Blessings to you as you travel through life. Linda DeRosa

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    1. Thank you for that, Linda. Your kind words are humbling. So nice to hear from you.

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    1. Glad you liked it, Grace. Hope you're doing well.

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  20. A stirring piece here, Alex...always the little boy here, trying to remember...make sense of a senseless act, never really knowing a dad...Sad, brave, and powerful write. Bravo!

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  21. Wow! What a powerful, intense, stirring poem. Outstanding!

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  22. excellent piece - I dig how the story progresses .

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  23. This is extremely moving and written with an obvious sincerity. The imagery is evocative and original. Great job!

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    1. I appreciate it, James. Thanks for taking the time to read my work.

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  24. Powerful write, Alex. I can relate to it in so many ways, and share the feelings. Very well done!

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    1. I'm sorry you could relate, but I'm also glad we could share some feelings. Thanks for the kind words.

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  25. ...we all have our own tales to tell...but how tough it must be to write a reality.. A reality so clear ans one you can't escape...for it always haunts you...everytime..deep within...you are an effective writer for writing a very connective poem, ripping our hearts in so much emotions...excellent offering...your first can stand alone so clearly with a haunting undertone as contrary to the light or soft words used... Now i wonder how are you feeling after releasing a part of yourself... Smiles...

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    1. I feel... lighter. This was weighing down my soul for some time. Thanks for the kind comment, Kelvin.

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  26. WOW.... deep .... Glad you are listening ...

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    1. Glad you stopped by. Thanks for the comment, Robert.

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  27. From the beginning to end, I stepped ino a life I don't know but have just experienced. I am grateful for the motherly love that held you close, I see the knowledge of self through the tears and the knowledge that he left yet didn't leave. Compelling poetry.

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    1. I'm grateful for your input. Thanks for taking the time to read my work, Beth.

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  28. Thak you for sharing the tragic truths of your life. Well written tribute and lessons.

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    1. & thank you for listening to those tragic truths.

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  29. Wow, very hard hitting, it can be felt all the way through. Sucks indeed and sadly I can relate more than most.

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    1. I'm sorry you can relate, Pat. It's not something I wish upon anyone else. Thanks for stopping by.

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  30. part of the healing is telling the story... thanks for sharing

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  31. Great write Alex. Personal and moving. You tell this piece of your story well.

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  32. How brave of you to share your story, Alex. I'm sure it was therapeutic.

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    1. Very much so. Thanks for stopping by, Jasmine.

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  33. You ARE different, your own person. And you get to forge your own path, as you are so bravely and sensitively doing.

    You get to create your own loving reality, in time with children of your own, and that's what matters.

    Very stunning introduction to your poetry, Alex.

    Does dVerse ROCK -- or what for bringing our hearts and minds all together.

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    1. dVerse is the best, no doubt. Thank you for the kind words & the reassurance, Jannie. Look forward to hearing from you more in the future.

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  34. Acknowledging grief now and recognising its stealth consequences is a blessing
    And a great way of preventing a whole lot of personal carnage . . .

    a well written piece, a strong voice

    all the best

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    1. Agreed. All the best to you, Arron. Thanks for reading.

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  35. I am glad to read your poem; it is surprising what 5 year old remembers.... I remember having you at the pool, at the park, and someone said, "isn't that the boy whose...." I am glad you are writing about this, and I hope it is healing. debi

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    1. I think I'm beginning to let things heal. So good to hear from you, Debi. Hope all is well.

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  36. This is lovely and heartbreaking Alex. I'm sure you know that your Dad wrote poetry also? Mostly in Algebra class. ;o) He was a great easy going guy and I feel sure that he would have straightened his life out eventually.

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    1. I did not know that! Math was never my strong suit either, I guess. Thanks for the comment, Jen. Put a smile on my face.

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  37. Powerful, heartbreaking and beautifully written.

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