No One Thought!

Someone shared a nice poem with me today about recovery. I don’t know who wrote it, but it wasn’t me. I find it to be rather clever. Enjoy.
I was shocked , confused, bewildered
as I entered Heaven’s door,
not by the beauty of it all,
nor the lights or its decor.
It was the folks in Heaven
who made me sputter and gasp–
the thieves, the liars, the sinners,
the alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
who never said anything nice.
Bob, who I always thought
was rotting away in hell,
was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake!.’
‘And why is everyone so quiet,
so somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said,
‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

The Five

Some time late in the 1990s, there was a very bad accident in a city park in Allentown, PA. Five young men were crammed in to a two-door car traveling approximately 47 miles an hour down a park road that had a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour. As the car approached a 90-degree curve onto a bridge exiting the park, the driver lost control and hit a wooden post and wire guardrail. The car was vaulted into the air, landing upside down in a water-filled canal. The young men ranged in age from 14 to 19 years old. All five had been drinking and smoking marijuana. The driver was found to have been legally drunk at the time of the accident. All five young men drowned in the car.

I wrote the following poem in 1998 in remembrance of the five young men and that fateful night.

Five boys looking right,
Traveling like lightening through the night.
Could it be?
Would these five boys go
Down the gamut of death
On one final flight?

© 1998 Steven Barto

I, The Sinner

I found some of my older poems just today. They were in a plastic tote, along with some diary entries, an old half-finished screenplay, and some story ideas and notes. The following is a poem I wrote in 1998 while struggling with active alcoholism and marijuana use. You can see how hopeless I felt back then.

I, the sinner,
Hopelessly doomed to express,
To opine,
To suggest,
To tell;

I, the deviant,
Hopelessly sentenced to dine
On the young carcasses
Of the oppressed;

I, the devil,
Hopelessly abandoned
To die alone;

I, the sinner,
With nothing to call home;
I, the sinner,
With nothing.

© 1998 Steven Barto