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Cradle to Grave

by Nancy Ames

"When children get the notion
that being bad is fun,
and negative emotion
is playing with a gun,

But the words are never spoken
and they just leave you alone,
and the little heart is broken
like a puppy wants a bone...

There is something keeping warm
way down there in the dark,
like a shadow taking form
only needs a single spark.

But no one pays attention
on those long, hot summer days,
and it's what we never mention,
it's the knife that cuts both ways.

Like what went down last night -
he was just waving it around
to watch her screaming in the night
but she never made a sound.

He didn't really mean it,
but she didn't see the joke,
and you'd know if you'd seen it
you can't ever fix what's broke.

So she was downtown slumming
but someone had to do it -
I could always see it coming
but how was I to prove it?

I guess the reason that he's dead
was his fundamental lack -
he thought the way to get ahead
was pushing other people back."


Author's Note: This is another of the 'caricature poems' with an implied speaker, in this case an older street-person.

Posted on 07/25/2008
Copyright © 2022 Nancy Ames

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Genevieve Sturrock on 07/25/08 at 03:06 AM

like a bare, stark light encroaching on the shadows that threaten to overtake us all. scary in it's truth, sad in it's finality. nicely written.

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