D.O.A — A Poem

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the rumor,

its probably making its way ’round that godforsaken town, no doubt.

How I packed up all I own

In the back of that Jeep Cherokee.

And headed South, to Tennessee.

Leaving everything and everyone

That ever meant a thing to me.

Needing to get away and to be free

So desperately.

Tearful goodbyes,

Pleading and persuading me to change my mind.

But not this time.

No turning back,

No looking in the rear-view mirror.

As I make my grand debut into the Real World.

With a heart so heavy that it physically hurts,

And the determination to make it work.

When that Friday morning came,

I drove off in the mix of snow and rain,

With nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Knowing from that moment on,

Nothing would ever be the same.

That was the moment, the day, my whole life changed.

In hindsight,

If only I had stayed.

Maybe it wouldn’t be this way.

But I had to leave.

I had to get away.

‘Cause nothing here was ever gonna change.

And I couldn’t keep living my life this way.

Ashamed to go out, to show my face;

forced to shoulder all the blame.

The people in this town, they’re all the same

They’re gonna think what they want,

believe who they want

No matter what I do or say.

It’s always going to be this way; they’ll never change.

The way I see it, I had a choice to make.

I could choose to stay; continue to hide and bow my head in shame

Or sever ties with this town and run away.

I chose to escape.

With a suitcase and a dream

Said I was gonna find out what it truly means

To be young, wild, and free

Free from all the pain and memories

Free from him.

Free from this town,

All of it, everything.

Driving down the Interstate

900 hundred miles between where I’m going

And the place I once called home

Staring out at the open road ahead

Feeling somewhat lost, torn apart inside

Like something’s missing

Like something isn’t right.

Close my eyes against the blinding white light

That now fills my line of sight

As I flash back and wade through all the moments of my life

The good and bad

The happiness and strife

All those milestone moments that shape a life

A broken record with no music.

The perfect euphemism for my life.

I try to swerve, turn the wheel to the right

But I swerve a second too late.

No walking away this time

Neither luck nor God can save me now.

Can’t find traction, I’m spinning out.

A grief so raw and new,

Like petals on a recently-bloomed flower  

And reassurances don’t hold water

When you’re down to your final hour

And pity means even less

When you’re the body lying on the table

A tragic Jane Doe

Whose name no one knows.

All those dreams that now will never be.

 So much potential that the world will never get to see.

A split-second decision, one sharp swerve to the right.

A victim of fate on that dark night.

Lifeless and cold.

No chance to grow old.

No hope of survival.

A nameless Jane Doe

Declared dead on arrival.

 -12.26.2015-

-JLR-

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