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Mercy Street is Closed

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Below is the poem entitled Mercy Street is Closed which was written by poet John Heck. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Mercy Street is Closed

At the end of Mercy Street
lies a forgotten wharf.
A single row boat is 
moss covered.
The battered vessel is 
moored and unwanted
like leprosy -
conducive to an invisible cancer.

Two splintered oars imitate antennae -
receiving distress signals
from no one.

The dinghy will not row towards God.
The boat will not sail past 
Bergen-Belsen or Dachow 
nor will it glide 'gainst Newton.

Mother wouldn't allow such a spectacle.

Tommy doesn't sleep on bottle caps anymore.
Tommy and Mother are content now.

(Tommy is dying)

Tommy's back is not broken
like a scarecrow -
(for he is good).
His leg is not twisted like a licorice stick -
(for he is cloaked in servile flattery).

Tommy doesn't skip like a river
nor shine like a sapphire.
Kevorkian wise and Barabbas blamed;
he grimaces -
he swallows Mother's red roses;
knowing when he sweats - 

(in the afternoon funeral festivities) 

he'll smell just like her.

The darkened sunlight -
(which Tommy cannot see)
throws itself between two clouds
marking a dramatic entrance!

Tommy's knees are broken yet
he still dances -
obviously dumb-founded
and matriarch approved.

Tommy hyperventilates and chokes.
Tommy eschews Mother's American beauties
and externally regurgitates the
memories he can't 

A single groove migrates
the needle into ambient static as
Tommy washes his hands.

Tommy simply washes his hands
and whistles.

(He simply washes his hands)

and whistles...

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  1. Date: 3/22/2010 7:57:00 PM
    Here my friend the poet brings light on a subject that was taboo to talk about for ages.Where others would dare not go the poet/actor must be there.The realities of abuse are explicit .The lines of "the darkned sunlight that Tommy cannot see " are representative of the resilent nature of children.The non abused can have empathy for the ones that are abused but can never know the indelible impression left on them.Some however do go on.Splendid poem in the best sense of the word.

  1. Date: 3/14/2010 8:00:00 AM
    Mr. Heck, Congratulations on this win Sir !!! This is a spectacular "Freeverse", a form I use often. james

  1. Date: 3/8/2010 4:29:00 PM
    Congratulations on your big win. I'm happy for you and proud of your prowess with the pen. Love, Joyce

  1. Date: 3/5/2010 1:17:00 PM
    My congratulations on your win in PS's Intl. Poetry Contest, John! Great job, as usual. ..Peace, Audrey

  1. Date: 3/4/2010 9:08:00 AM
    Congratulations for being featured this week, John!This is a very dramatic poem full of profound emotions describing the fate of mother and son. When we miss a loved one, like Tommy misses his mother, death seems the ultimate wish to be together once more. This is one of the most dazzling gems of your works! Enjoy the glory and honor, John! Love, peace and happiness, Andrew.

  1. Date: 3/3/2010 11:41:00 PM
    Very emotional and dramatic. I love reading it. Congratulations. Ernilando

  1. Date: 3/3/2010 1:12:00 PM
    John~ Just as I know you to be filled with strong vivid imagery and words that make you think Congratulations to you my friend! So well done bask in the honor ! I Love You! The Cougar!

  1. Date: 3/3/2010 7:57:00 AM
    So dramatic, can feel the emotions,

  1. Date: 3/2/2010 10:03:00 AM
    Congrastulations John on your eight place win. Agape, Moses

  1. Date: 3/1/2010 11:13:00 AM
    This one triggered alot of emotion in me, kind of fits some people I knew. Congrat on placing in the contest, this is origional and good. Keep writting Judy Riley

  1. Date: 3/1/2010 8:57:00 AM
    Congratulations on your win in the October 2009 PoetrySoup International Poetry Site Contest Mr. John Heck. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 2/28/2010 8:44:00 PM
    A big CONGRATS John on your winning poem and placement in the Poetry Soup Contest.. always.. enjoy this enormous victory .. luv.. Linda-Marie "Sweetheart" of Poetry Soup..

  1. Date: 2/28/2010 11:07:00 AM
    CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN!! I am never surprised to see your winning poems in the final countdown, yet still....I am so happy to see this amazing poem has won in the finals!!! My congratulations, and love. Carrie !!!!

  1. Date: 12/21/2009 10:50:00 PM
    This is my choice! Love, Lainie

  1. Date: 12/21/2009 1:15:00 PM
    Congratulations on poems going to second Round John. Sincerely, Moses

  1. Date: 12/21/2009 9:08:00 AM
    John,Congrats on your two poems winning the first round of PS contest!! Very well deserved, enjoyed reading your wonderful poetry. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! May 2010 be your best year ever! Love Light Patty

  1. Date: 12/20/2009 1:20:00 PM
    You're an amazing writer, John. Congratulations on moving to the next round with two great poems! Wishing you joy and happiness in the New Year, love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 12/20/2009 10:20:00 AM
    Many congratulations on reaching the second round with your fine poem >> James

  1. Date: 11/19/2009 5:55:00 PM
    Hi John, I commented on this before and want to comment again. Simply Brilliant writing! Love, Lainie

  1. Date: 11/18/2009 11:08:00 AM
    John congrats on your powerful poem being featured this week. Rgds Janette