Seven Deadly Poems

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Derek’s feet shuffled down

the well known stretch of white concrete

towards the park.

He hunched his shoulders

against the chill of the wind.

He shouldn’t go,

but Derek couldn’t find any other

reason not to torture himself.

The skin across his back crawled just thinking about

what he had done those years ago –

to his mother,

to his sister,

to himself.

Derek deserved this self-torture.

Derek deserved to feel the guilt

wash over him like a deluge

unable to breath through it.

Derek once again found his bench.

The one to the left of a big oak tree

and front and center of the playground.

As he unwrapped his peanut butter and banana

sandwich, he took a deep breath

conscious that he was inhaling

the last dependable breath for a while.

The sound of dry rain above and to the left of him

mocked the way he felt – drowning

in the remorse.

For many long minutes

Derek gave his attention

to the sandwich in his hands.

When Derek had a third left, he glanced up

and saw what he expected to see.

The scene was always the same.

Even though there was a chill

mothers were out with their kids.

Most had one eye on a child

and the other was on a book

or anything else that was cradled

in their soft hands.

It didn’t take long

for the bright primary colors

that glared off the play ground

to flash in Derek’s eye sight.

His chest burned, and he was

glued to the slow rotting wood

of the bench Derek always chose

to sit on.

“Noah, come here.”

Noah had been inching

off the bench of the

picnic table slowly.

What he hadn’t learned yet

was that mothers have eyes

in the back of their heads.

“Mom, I want to

go play.”

Instead she firmly reached

for Noah’s bicep.

It wasn’t a punishing grip.


“You will eat two more bits

before you can go play.”

He did so with out

argument, but his mom had

To remind him to chew

before he could run off.

I smirked

even though the burning

expanded further throughout my chest,

and the view was becoming unbearable.

I had to walk away.

The sight of multiple families

was burning holes

in my heart, and my

lungs felt trampled


I ran my finger through my

hair, and grabbed the back

of my neck.

I only had a few more minutes

of my lunch break.

I could do it.

I had to.

Sarah had her punishment,

I had mine.

Turning my head at the

sound of a mother’s raised voice,

I couldn’t help but watch.

“Liam Alexander! Do you want to come

back tomorrow?”

I saw a boy with blond hair

hesitate on the fake rock wall hearing the threat.

Liam swayed

trying to decide what

was more important

his mother’s threat or finishing

the game he had started with the other two boys.

Even though he didn’t see his mother’s face

It had relaxed

When she watched her son jump down

a foot off the rock wall.

My eye’s were dry from the lack of blinking.

I blinked then, and turned away from it all.

The colors dimmed,

But the memories were fresh

And blended with the past.

None of those kids knew what they had.

What a gift she was.

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