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Precipice of a Lost Innocence

Carrie Richards Avatar 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)

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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

  1. Date: 3/7/2011 5:12:00 AM

    oh wow-- this really moved me, Carrie! You are definitely a talented storyteller, you got me gripped from your title alone (loved it) and you just took me there to this haunting memory-- you give details in your story so well, this is such an amazing narrative, Carrie-- super congrats on your win! :D

  1. Date: 3/6/2011 10:09:00 PM

    Carrie, sincerely glad to see you make it on the winner's list! I so dig reading a good story spun in narrative form, and you are one of the best when it comes to raw, heartfelt and nostalgic narrative. For you it is now like a second skin! Congratulations!~Chris

  1. Date: 3/6/2011 6:04:00 PM

    Great to see you near the top Carrie, beautiful job. Congratulations on your worthy fifth place honor. Agape, Moses

  1. Date: 3/6/2011 3:15:00 PM

    Carrie, so happy to see your poem in the winners' circle. Congratulations! Love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 3/6/2011 2:54:00 PM

    Congratulations on your very fine win in John's Contest, Carrie. Love, Annalise

  1. Date: 3/6/2011 1:44:00 PM

    Powerful write and powerful memory here Carrie! You are a comsumate storyteller! Congrad's on your fine win! Light & Love

  1. Date: 3/6/2011 12:46:00 PM

    Congrats Carrie on your stupendous win in John's contest .. amazing write and entry my friend.. enjoy another top ten win with luv..

  1. Date: 3/4/2011 2:00:00 PM

    Oh, Carrie, I was fully engrossed in this sad poem. As a child yourself, it had to be very hard to hear the boy across the street had taken his own life. Your parents were trying to protect you from the news, but you would have heard eventually. It had to be difficult for your father to help the police break the news to his parents, but I admire him for doing it. My stepbrother's son committed suicide two Christmases ago. The pain lingers for the family. Excellent poem. A fave. Love-CD

  1. Date: 3/4/2011 11:27:00 AM

    The weekend is here and I am trying to get some poetry read. I am glad you had something new here for me to enjoy today Carrie. I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with new found inspiration. Tearing will not stop. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 3/3/2011 4:35:00 PM

    Sad happening in a young child's life..Enjoyed reading your work this eve..Sara