Poem by Oneal Walters
He wears a uniform with a torn pocket,
nametag hanging on his left side;
he holds a picture frame in his right hand.
There’s no beautiful picture within its borders.
Staring at the grey background,
his head is lowered below human salvation.
“Marlon,” his sister’s voice is heard in the house.
He turns towards a closed white door, opens and enters it,
closing the wooden door behind him.
The room is black, lifeless, ‘and then there was light’,
almost as if Yahweh entered the room. He kneels down.
He sees a pink book, half covered by the flowery bed sheets,
as it lies on the floor; a perfect balance of night and day.
He overlooks the evenly stacked board game boxes
and the open electrical plugs, no computer is here.
Lying on the dresser near to the window is an opened Bible,
a math textbook, three-ring-binders and a calculator.
He hears again, “Marlon,” the voice is yet further away.
Opening the pink book; he turns to the first page and reads about,
“the boy who removed my soul.”
He skips through the dirty white pages
and sees folded and crossed out pages.
He reads a sentence on the last page,
“Hell is a barren body that is cursed with daily pain.”
Flipping to the center of the pink book he reads,
“September 17, 2008.
Today it wasn’t him, it was me.
He is so hard to please and always mad.
7pm is when my heart stops and I get sad.
I can’t leave, I don’t know where to go.
He came in through the side door
and left his brown boots on the floor.
I was motionless.
I don’t know what-not-to-say.
Don’t know what triggers him.
Was this all my fault?
God, why am I younger than him?
Why did my brother drop out of school?
He yelled about not getting a raise,
about his boss blaming the recession.
He yelled after smelling the hamburgers.
He was so cruel this time, so loud.
Then he was very silent. I apologized.
He said he hated me, that he would kill me.
Said I had no friends, that he’s my only friend.
Then I said no. His face went blank then vengeful,
pushing me, I slipped and fell backwards,
my head slamming against the wall. He twisted my arm
‘til I thought he would break it. I asked him to, “please stop”.
But he didn’t. He blamed me and said that I made him do it.
All I did was cook him hamburgers before he came home.”
Toronto born poet, Oneal Walters, is also author of the book, "The Age Begins."
Oneal Walters will be contributing poems bi-weekly to the Call and Post Newspaper. You can learn more about Oneal Walters at www.onealwalters.com.