Innocence: A Question

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Once, on a yellow piece of paper with green lines,

he wrote a poem,

And he called it "Chops"

Because that was the name of his dog,

And that's what it was all about.

His teacher gave him an A 

And a gold star.

And his mother hung it on the kitchen door.

And read it to his aunts.

That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo,

And he let them sing on the bus.

And his little sister was born

With tiny toenails and no hair.

And his mother and father kissed a lot.

And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine

signed with X's and O's.

And he had to ask his father what they meant.

And his father always tucked him in

and kissed him goodnight

Because he was always there to do it.

 

Once, on a piece of white paper with blue lines,

he wrote a poem,

And he called it "Autumn"

Because that was the name of the season.

And that's what it was all about.

And his teacher gave him an A

And asked him to write more clearly.

And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door

Because of it's new paint.

The kids told him Father Tracy smoked

And left the butts on the church pews.

That was the year his sister got glasses

With thick lenses and midnight frames.

And the girl around the corner laughed

When he asked her to see Santa Claus.

And his father never tucked him in bed at night.

And his father got mad when he cried about it.

 

Once, on a paper torn from his notebook,

he wrote a poem.

He called it "Innocence: A Question"

Because that was what he wondered.

And that's what it was all about.

And the professor gave him an A

And a strange, steady look.

And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door

Because he never showed her.

That was the year Father Tracy died

When his lungs stopped working.

And the year his sister tried to kill herself.

And the year his mom found his dad with someone else,

But the girl around the corner,

She kissed him to bed at night,

Because she was always there to do it.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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