First it was twenty-year-old who tried and failed to die, young man my son’d known fifteen years who from high tower dived. I read to him five years ago this month my poem, “Men Don’t Leave,” as sat with soul comatose in tormented disbelief. Mack Christian, thin veiled pseudonym, for man-boy who lay with tubes, the one who ever walks with limp as life’s glory does pursue.
Then came autumn of eighteen when disconsolate soul, another class of eleven, whose light self-extinguished when he chose God’s darkest form of console. My son writhed and agonized when learned of friend’s demise, a boy with whom he’d schooled and played was now buried in the ground. No reasoning with torment, no logic could dispel, the young man’s inner sufferings and so hollow rang death knell.
Strangely I learned of third “child’s” passing by vague comment left by Mack, I sighed, bit lip, moaned heartfelt tear and prayed understanding lacked. Prayers impotent, what I’d feared rang true as confirmed ‘nother son’s classmate had taken own life, came three a.m. call from son who just bawled and screamed from strife.
Darkness, darkness everywhere and no candle to light our way, so many souls in darkest hour as on stage I cavort and play. But from wings hind proscenium a young man of one score years, an actor most competent asked us to dry his tears. He suffered not in solemn silence, in a dull, dark, dock, but rather called out for matches to make him chippy proper and lagging soul to rock.
“Brilliant!” was my response as I quickly penned a poem, the concept of calling on one’s friends for support was a thing not used to knowing. I’m Midwestern, middle aged and I’ve rod stuck up my bum that simply balks at showing weakness and screaming for my friends to come. Come and give me solace, light a corner of my dark, help me to see the light, and dear friends, guide me to mark.
My Lucio, fair Juliette, she too did call for light, and answered we her friends and their pestilence took flight! To uplift and to console, to gather quick lightning bugs, to dance among the fireflies and be engulfed by love. Some tiny sparks of kindness that appeared at sweet request could drive away the chopper and his head chopping bequest.
God bless all the children from one to ninety-two, please go not quiet into dark night as your sparks we must not lose
W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan- “Mikado” Chippy Chopper:
To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark, dock, In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock, Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp, shock, From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!