This is a Memorial Day poem I penned in honor of all the parents whose children have committed suicide. I know my writing falls far short; this is something I am just not qualified to understand. But now and then Vince comes home with stories about things said to him, or done to him by others. I honestly believe that bullies are multi-generational; I believe they take up positions of power in schools, offices, and administrations, and they model this behavior (that sometimes pays off quite well) to their own children.
Being different is a full time and very dangerous job, especially if you are a child. If you are unique, competitive, talented, or extremely smart, you will sometimes become a target. Sometimes I put myself (I try anyway) in the position of a parent desperate to help their child...if the structure in place fails this parent, sometimes the losses are unfathomable. Just the thought of something like this happening to us makes me sick.
I entered my poem in the Boston Review's poetry contest, a venue completely out of my league; but, it's fun to dream. Not only that, I feel like at this time of the year, with school wrapping up, we should renew our dedication to eradicating this social ill.
I love you all, and thanks for tolerating me, my differences, my problems, and my ambitions…I am truly a lucky woman.
Have fun in the water this weekend, and remember everyone who has passed before us.
A Life Left to Mourn
If only in my child I could find a smile again,
Watching his lips, shining bright teeth, the fine brown hair
fluttering in the wind,
My fingertips followed a trail from under his lids, across
his cheeks, to the bottom of his chin.
His tears once flowed against his tan colored skin so cool,
Palms pressed against his ears, words he dreaded, in the
hollow of his throat a salty pool,
Choking him, lies and fists battering him, he bravely drags
his bloody backpack home from school.
Together we contemplated the climb before us,
Dreamily, he journeyed beside me, an icon of innocent
His sweet broken heart—his soul—his prayers for peace fly
free from the bullies’ angry bloodlust.
Drearily, the mist drips into raindrops over the sacred pine
Helpless, I cry.