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 Contemporary poetry by Dan Donlan


For the boy or girl
Who feels helpless
Homeless, Father less, Mom less
Dads on alcohol Mom is on drugs
I feel no pain for them
The world is full of slugs
All I can say is I've been there
But I had a Mom, The Ten Commandments
She was beaten every time Dad came near
I had a home, a roof, the windows boarded up
Drunken rages our furniture thrown out
Some boy friend had given them to Mom
Blaming Mom for his own cheating
No one helped Mom
The Police were afraid of my Dad
Blamed us for his problems
Waited for Mom payday
Little was left after rent was paid
Sis and I ate school lunches
spoiled kids did not like fruit
I stuffed them in my pocket hard boiled eggs
The day I was excused of stealing
Mom and I went to school
The lunch lady was black
She understood and her daughter my friend
All lives matter!
So we had a table of apple boxes
The plus I learned self relience
We were blessed the times he never came home
But he was a shadow of darkness
The shadow I boxed the weights I lifted
From the outside it looked no one lives here
Until you looked close
The yard was maintained garbage clear
I mowed the lawn with a push mower
kids my age laughed
Look at Punky he works as we play
Went door to door to find work
Was not too proud to accept low pay
Sold garden seeds and my own victory garden
Many a door was closed by how I looked
Long uncut hair Elvis before Elvis
Tennis shoes masked with masking tape
Mom bought our clothes at Sears bargain basement
Once a year at Easter we had new clothes
Mom's Easter bonus to dad unknown
One day it would open doors
This kid works hard does good work
I'd a been bullied but took the bullies on
Many a time there was blood on the school lawn
And who did they blame me?
Punky is always fighting set him back
Cruelest words I heard, "You will amount to nothing.
A drunk just like your father!"
School was not the answer teachers did not care
Mary had a little lamb whose wool was white as snow
The three bears the big bad Wolves the show
Someone had to turn the cycle around
I found sports after school and the library on the way home
Wrote my first poem in the bad boy closet
Girls were good boys were bad for little Punky life was sad
"Casey at Bat!" "Moby Dick" any book I could read
I picked my friends not from intimidation those like me in need
Avoidance of alcohol and weed
No one was going to help me I needed three things
Education, hard work, rid myself of self pity
This I would like to instill in others we share this world
The advice I passed on to my own family
Sit back and expect to be rescued it won't happen
Take down the bullies and plan the changes that are holding you back
Make America strong again one person at a time
I can only bleed for you but you have to make the changes
The circle of life can come in many stages


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