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Precipice of a Lost Innocence

Carrie Richards Avatar Carrie Richards - LIFETIME Premium Member Carrie Richards - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Precipice of a Lost Innocence which was written by poet Carrie Richards. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Precipice of a Lost Innocence

I am standing outside my bedroom, on the precipice of lost innocence.
Wide eyed, and barefoot on cold hardwood.
Someone is hammering on our front door.
My father, looking a bit annoyed, shuffles anxiously down the stairs.
Tussled hair, a bewildered vein bulging in his forehead,
wearing his old, blue plaid robe, the one with the woven rope belt,
he looks like a lightweight boxer, ready to enter the ring.

There are two grim faced policemen waiting on the front porch.
My mother, at the top of the stairs, clutches the neck of her gown.
She looks as if she might choke herself.
Confused concern, reflects in sleep swollen eyes.

They ask my father,  “How well do you know those folks across the road?”
As they notice me standing on the stairs, they quickly lower their voices.
In a hushed, rather husky monotone, they explain to my father... 
whispering something about a boy who has taken a shotgun out into the hills… 
He has taken his own life…and has been identified as the boy..., 
the teenager, who lives kitty-corner across  our road.
The same kid who mowed our grass when Dad was sick for a spell last summer.
The one who bags Mom’s groceries at the local A & P.
They think I don’t hear them            ……but I do…
and I hear them ask my father, 
      would he,  please, come along to help them break the news?

My father, glazed eyes, and head low, steps away a moment, to quickly dress.
I remember hearing my mother gasp, then suck in a  sob,..
But then is right behind me, pulling me towards her…..
and I can feel her heart pounding, through flannel of my pajamas.
She is squeezing my hard that it hurts,.... somehow I don’t mind.
I look up seeking reassurance,.... her eyes are huge, …
                      and she knows that I have heard…. 
And we both know,...that nothing will ever be the same. 
After this day is over,  the childhood of yesterday, will wear a different face…

Father pulls a coat over his pajama tops, …he gives my mother a touch on the arm.
With a desolate look at me, he touches my head.
He steps out into the darkness of a not quite dawn.
And through the window,  I can see the line of shadows on the lawn.
Three men, like hunched over soldiers, walking slowly into the wounds of a new day.

(Sadly,  this is based on a true story)

Copyright © Carrie Richards

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  1. Date: 6/22/2013 6:10:00 PM
    I can feel the anxiety released by your well chosen words..... magnificently done, my sweet Carrie, Congratulations on your win...... Jake

  1. Date: 6/22/2013 8:09:00 AM
    Beautifully told Carrie, by your master hand. Congratulations. Love, Joyce

  1. Date: 6/21/2013 11:30:00 PM
    This is a captive read Carrie .....Seren

  1. Date: 6/21/2013 9:29:00 PM
    Very well written piece and quite moving. Thanks for submitting! Kim

  1. Date: 4/27/2012 11:48:00 AM
    Stupendous write dear poet!!!deeply touching poem congrats.

  1. Date: 4/24/2012 4:52:00 PM
    Outstanding poem Carrie, very emotional write, congrats on your 1st place win, though I'm sure the memories last forever and I am glad you chose to share it with us, hugs vie

  1. Date: 4/24/2012 2:20:00 PM
    Ah yes, I remember this poem, Carrie. Frank chose a strong poem for 1st place. Congratulations! The things I said in my first comment below, left last year....they still stand true.

  1. Date: 4/24/2012 1:51:00 PM
    Such a great write, so powerful You should lay it out like the short story it is ;) What aperson you are!! Your folks must be great parents too! Congrad's on your win. Light & Love

  1. Date: 4/24/2012 1:08:00 PM
    Carrie...what a descript and poetic account of one horrible day!...Some days of mine are horrible and I want to write them into a poem for personal healing...I haven't been able to accomplish that yet...You do it so well. This was a looking glass view of a very dark day...You deserved this glowing win! :) Gwendolen

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 9:27:00 PM
    Wonderfully written and very touching.Congratulations on your win..

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 3:34:00 PM
    very well written...congrats on your win

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 3:13:00 PM
    very powerful! congrats on your win!

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 10:34:00 AM
    Amazing write Carrie. With imagery in each breath. I was standing right next to you. EXCELLENT!!!!!Congrats to you!!

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 9:23:00 AM
    congratulations! A well deserved win. This piece is very well written. Thank you for sharing your difficult memory.

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 8:00:00 AM
    Congratulations on writing such a marvellous poem, truly touching.

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 7:54:00 AM
    Wow Carrie. I love narratives, and this one does not disappoint. You had me from the first line. I was there. Going to my favs. Congratulations on a great write.

  1. Date: 4/23/2012 6:08:00 AM
    Congratulations on your win in Frank's "A Childhood Memory" contest Carrie. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 3/9/2011 8:57:00 AM
    Very heart-wrenching, Carrie. Many congrat's on your BIG WIN. Lainie

  1. Date: 3/7/2011 11:48:00 PM
    INCREDIBLE. this is what it's all about! Congratulations, CArrie.

  1. Date: 3/7/2011 12:12:00 PM
    Congratulations on your winning poem in John Heck's "Hey...Mr. Editor" contest Carrie. Love, Carol