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My son caught me off guard
He snuck in
Between the clicks of the keyboard
And looked over my shoulder
As I wrote yet another poem
About how diluted
The world had become
And how destined for destruction
We really were

I lost my train of thought
And frustratingly
Turned to him
He smiled
Revealing reasons to live
And asked me to read to him
He wanted more than anything
To hear one of daddies stories

I changed the subject
But heís good

He asked what it was about
And I lied
I told him it was full of happy things
Intertwined with love
And emotion
And that it helped Daddy
To relay these things through his writing

He asked again
Could he hear these stories
I cringed
I had no other choice
But to create what Iíve been unable to convey
In every other piece
Iíve ever written
My little boy
Wanted to hear happy things

Iíll admit
It took some time
To find the mindset
But it did eventually come
It appeared in the reflection
Of collage of photos
From my childhood
It was in the slip n slide in the back ground
Glistening in the water
Being sprayed from the tubes
On a summer day
Somewhere in 1987

It was in the squiggly lines
Written on the hand
Of my baby sister
Before life separated us
And our relationship learned to survive
Through telephone lines
In the middle of the night

I began typing
Insignificant once wereís
Catching my eye
As my concentration shifted from memory
To memory
What was it
That had made life fun

It was the smoke of my grandfatherís cigarettes
Before smoking was cool
When It was a grown up
Floating through the air
In a mix of grays and browns
That wreaked of family

It was back when Cindy Crawford
Had nothing on my Mother
When it was o.k. to wear hand me downs
And social status
Didnít decide who was
And wasnít best friends
It was when you were nervous
Around the girl you loved
And ignoring her
Was the only hint that needed to be dropped

It was when scary movies
Were scary movies
And a flashlight and your covers
Were a barrier
Against every storm
It the first one to fall asleep
On a sleep over
And the last one to be picked
For kickball

Life is childhood
For the mere fact that death can only be defined
By becoming an adult

It was when you wanted to go
To heaven
Because everybody
Loves and angel
And you were afraid of hell
Not because of damnation
But because jeez
Itís probably hot down there

Itís when summer lasted forever
And so did math class
When cartoons were the only option
For a Saturday morning
And breakfast
Always contained some sort of marshmallow

When you couldnít wait for you birthday
Because you werenít thinking
Of getting older
You were busy pretending to play
With the toys you wrote on the list
That was hung
From the refrigerator

Itís when Santa Clause
Was more important
Than Sadam Hussein
And everybody trick or treated
On Halloween
It was before I could fathom
When Arnold Swarzenegger
Was the Terminator
Not the governator

It was before now
Because it was back then
I was a kid
And being a kid
Was cool
I called my son back in the room
And again he smiled
He had no reason not to
He asked if I had a story for him
And I said yes

I turned the computer off
And pulled a Superman comic
From my desk
I read to my son all night
And when it was over
I felt better about myself
He deserved to be a kid
Because being a kid
Was cool
And what I write about
Is not

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The following comments are for "Half An Answer"
by Vince

Half An Answer
this is great. in so many ways for so many reasons. favourite lines being "He smiled/ Revealing reasons to live" and "He deserved to be a kid". not much of a useful critique, I realise, but I loved this.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: September 20, 2006 )

As parents we try to protect our kids from the world outside. They do give us alot of reasons to live. I truely like this. thanks for posting

( Posted by: wanda [Member] On: September 20, 2006 )

Half an answer
Been there, man. You've captured this sort of experience well, of being caught off guard by innocence in the face of overwhelming negativity, of finding brief solace in immersing onself in the innocence of the other before returning to the cold and bitter world.

Gotta admit I was thrown off a few times when your childhood memories became exagerrated or oversimplified. You weren't socially conscious as a child? Class didn't matter? It sure did in my schools (all eight of them -- we moved a lot), and it matters now at my son's school, too. We were acutely conscious of differences in class and social status.

And a fair number of typos and diction errors ("wreaked" instead of "reeked") ruined the spell for me sometimes, but they're easily fixed.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this poem, as I have your others. And I look forward to the next one!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 20, 2006 )

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