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B&W Autograph

His smile
Blunted and shunted off to the corner of a face
The eyes
Hooded, angry, pleading—
A cold Covington, LA winter day,
But Bright Sunny,
But not his smile;
Peacoat buttoned up,
Chin up,
Wondering—
Why was he caged in his playpen inside the chickenWireFence?
Years later they’d say it was to
Keep out the snakes,
But the trauma was past and present,
He had boldly wandered into realms beyond a childhood safe and simple,
In the Brownie black and white photo he kept,
To remember,
To hope,
To repair,
Kept for his own sake
And proof:
QED

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Crosstown

I fell in a hole inside myself*
But I’m looking for the way out.
Here I stand next to you,
Why can’t you hear me shout?
“Hug me! Help me! Like me!”
“Why am I still here?!”
[After all this gnawing time,
Shouldn’t things be more clear?]
Trauma is an overwhelming negative event*
Frozen up in your deep insides*—
Tears are the trauma as it melts,*
Getting better in slips and slides.
I found myself outside my hole
I’m sorry for all the fuss,
But, thanks for just being there
And getting me back on Life’s Crosstown Bus.

* Lines paraphrased from On living with depression and suicidal feelings | Sami Moukaddem | TEDxLAU