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Almost Free

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Below is the poem entitled Almost Free which was written by poet Meggan Rogalski. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Almost Free

I grew up in a garden paradise
large white house in the country
sheltered by ancient oaks and naievity
passed idyllic days in childhood bliss
never ran it much through my mind before

until the day
I walked two hours with my life packed up on my back
set out on a sunny autumn morning
running on a four days empty belly, and some strong black coffee
met a tall, thin man along the way
asked me if I could play the bass slung over my back
I replied yes and he gave me his number

Three quarters of the way there the baby's stroller 
gave one last groan of protest
and buckled under the weight of the bags hung on the handle
spilling everything onto the street

"These things can be kind of tricky,"
said the young man who helped me scoop everything up,
explaining how it used to happen 
when he pushed around his younger siblings.
"See you around sometime,"
he offered up

Later we arrived,checked in at the front desk
no one else knew we were at the shelter
days here are passed aimlessly
in sedated daydreaming
nights are spent shivering with cold
and exhaustion

I can no longer count 
the number of times I've been broken before
(I try not to think about it)
and pieced back together, but never quite the same,
I could tell you how the closet floor smells like mildew
when soaked through repeatedly with tears,
or describe the way his black eyes bulge in anger,
describe how every little fleck and bubble gathers at the corners
when his mouth froths white with hate,
and the vilest obscenities, and how after a while
you start to ask yourself if they're true

Armed with all the pamphlets from the front office
I was gonna do all the right things
they say it takes about five tries before you're successful
but what do you tell to the child who says, "Daddy bad, daddy gone?"
I almost made it this time, and then
He dropped by, told me to pack up my stuff,
we took the bus home
past the place where the young man helped me gather up my life off the road
past the spot where the tall, thin man gave me hope
and his number
- The baby was excited about his first ride 

I'm back in the same old spot again, 
little has changed but time
and knowing that once, just once,
I almost made it I watch the birds out my kitchen window
close my eyes and ...
I'm almost free

Copyright © Meggan Rogalski

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