We were lining up
for school dinner.

Fay was in
front of me.

Can you go
to the cinema
on Saturday morning?
I said.

Don't know
have to see what
Daddy says
she said
he doesn't like me
going to the cinema
he says it is sinful
stuff shown.

I frowned
and looked at her.

It's only films
I said
kid’s stuff.

I’ll ask him
she said.

After we got
out dinners
we sat
at the same table.

What is sinful
about going
to the pictures?
I asked.

Daddy says
that sometimes
the films show
a wrong side of life
and is against
our Catholic faith.

I go nearly
every week
twice some Saturdays
if my old man
takes me
I said.

Doesn't your father worry
about it being sinful?
she said.

Don't think he does
I said
least he's not said
anything about sin
only who is in it
and if it's any good
I said.

We ate our dinner
I looked
at her blue eyes
and blonde hair
drawn into a ponytail.

Ask him
if you can
I said
it is only
films for kids.

I will
she said.

But I felt
she was reluctant
and would probably wait
until her old man
was away on one
of his religious retreats
or off away on business.  

After dinner
we went into
the playground
she to play skip rope
with other girls
and I with Denis
to play cards.

Denis lost
and I had most
of his cards
which made him moody
but all is fair
in cards and war.

He walked off
and swore.


I used to want to be the last one to leave parties.

Watch the flames get extinguished
The bottles picked up
And the brake-lights of departing friends pierce the night
Knowing that I didn't miss out on any fun.

Now I am the last one to leave for college
And I wish it weren't so
Because I get the cursed privilege of
Watching every single one of my best friends go.

I used to hate leaving parties early
People still arriving, snacks to be eaten, and the night still young
Disappointed that everyone would keep partying after I left
The towel of fun still sopping wet and not yet wrung.

As the absolute last one to leave for the Fall Quarter
It's absolute fucking torture.
I wish I could depart early, leave this party of a town
Say painful goodbyes until December, and slip away without a sound.

I don't want our flames to be extinguished.
I don't want you guys to be picked up and whisked away.
Bright brake-lights parking at the airport
I just wish I didn't have to stay.

I'm here until the end of the summer, my friends,
and deep into the Fall
But I'm lucky to have spent the most time
With everyone out of you all.

I know we'll stay in touch.
Snaps of our apartment, and DMs about college life
It's the face-to-face contact, the summer hangs, I'll miss for now
But we'll be writing each other, surely

But for once

I want to leave the party early.

It's all getting so real. They're leaving. I'm leaving. Months after them. Good luck my friends, I'll see you in December. <3

When I was
seven years old
I crept down our stairs
in the dark
it was just about midnight
on Christmas Eve
and I
wanted to catch Santa Claus
as he put presents
under our tree

When I was
fifteen years old
I laid on his bed
in the dark
it was in the evening
during the summer
and I
nervously waited for him
to shove his penis
inside of me

I hid
near the fireplace
anxiously awaiting an arrival
hands clenched into tight fists
giddy with anticipation
waiting in the dark

I spread
open my legs
feeling pressured and defeated
the TV blared so that
his mom wouldn't hear
my hands clenched into tight fists
I didn't want to touch him
but I
waited in the dark

I didn't see Santa Claus
it was my parents
shoveling presents under
our tree
my verbal exclamation of shock
and betrayal
led to them disciplining me
for sneaking around
in the dark

I didn't look at him
my eyes wandered around
his room
gazing at the guitars and
posters and
the closet and
even the TV
he ejaculated and
left me there, cold
in the dark

At school,
I told all of my friends
that Santa Claus wasn't real
I wanted everyone to know
the counselor pulled me aside
and said that it wasn't fair
for me to take this
from the other kids
it wasn't right
it wasn't my place
"Let them stay innocent
a little while longer."

I didn't want anyone to know
when I lost
my virginity
tears bubbling at my waterline,
I looked at myself
in disgust
It wasn't fair.
It wasn't right.
It wasn't his place.
Except there was no counselor
for me to speak to
only the sound
of water droplets
as I cried in the shower

I thought that
I lost my innocence
when I found out
that Santa Claus wasn't

this IS real
and hurts

You ever hug the wall
At a high school homecoming?
Wishing those moths in your stomach,
Would just fucking die already.

You wore your brand new
Concrete shoes.
Slipped them on
To dance with your demons,
In a sea of your peers.

The fruit punch tastes like defeat,
The ballads from the 80’s are too damn loud.

Yet your peers are so cheery,
You, tired and weary.
Looking forward to going home,
And drink yourself to sleep.

Dealing with my first adolescent experiences with anxiety and depression

When She gets ready
She always thinks
'Will He like this? '
Before She puts on
The day's outfit.

In math class
She imagines him
Sitting next to her
Laughing that cute laugh
That She absolutely adores
So She can get
Through the period.

When She lies in bed
She can't ever sleep
Without imagining him
Wrapping his arms around her
Whispering how beautiful
He thinks She really is.

But when He passes her
In the halls,
He sees her as another girl
Blushing in his direction
as He turns his attention
to someone else.
The beautiful, blond skinny girl
With all that confidence and all that perfection
Who can never be with him,
Never hold him at night,
Never love him
The same way
The shy girl
With glasses can.

DJ Jul 17

So permanent.
So painful.

Do you have siblings?
If so,
Then let's imagine this,
One night,
Everything gets too much to bare,
Your head goes psychotic,
Your body goes numb,
You take that rope and hang yourself.
The next morning,
You're siblings run into your room,
Wanting to wake you up for breakfast,
When they see you hanging there,
Blue lips,
Cold body,
Dead eyes.
Their screams are piercing.
Then your mother comes running in,
Leaving the eggs to burn,
As she sees you hanging,
She screams as she unties the rope,
And you fall lifeless into her arms.
Her screams and tears.
Your siblings grow more and more each year.
Always haunted with the image of your body.
Your younger sister?
She has started to self harm and has landed herself in the hospital.
Your brother?
He tried shooting himself through the heart but missed by a centimeter.
Your mother?
She killed herself.
Leaving your siblings to the care of your father.

Do you live alone?
If so,
Let's imagine this,
You miss work for an entire week.
No call no show,
Which is totally out of character for you.
None of your family has heard from you.
You missed your weekly call with your mother.
Your best friend hasn't heard from you all week.
You missed your rent.
So your best friend (who has a key)
Enters your house/apartment,
And they see you laying on the bathroom floor,
In a week old puddle of blood,
Flies all over you,
Your body reeks of death,
The blade is laying right beside you on the floor.
Your best friend collapses,
Hand over mouth,
Loss of breath,
Unable to move.
They try calling 911,
But their hands are way to shaky.
So they scream as loud as possible,
While cradling your dead body.
And after a week of thinking it was their fault,
That they should've seen it,
That they could've done something,
They take a gun and pull the trigger.

An only child?
If so,
Let's imagine this,
Your parents are asleep,
Your dog is in your room,
But the dog is whining so loud,
Your mom tells your father to go check on the dog,
So he gets up,
Barely awake,
Locates the sound of the dog,
And opens your door,
Seeing your dead body.
His eyes go wide,
He screams for your mother to call an ambulance,
He grabs your body,
Cradling you,
Pushing the hair out of your face,
And telling himself that it was his fault.
That he was the reason for it all.
That he should've stopped it.
That he shouldn't have gone to sleep.
He starts drinking away his pain,
But he becomes an abusive drunk,
And starts beating your mother.
Until she files for divorce and split.
Your father ends up homeless and a drunk,
Your mother ends up dead in a year.

Are you being abused?
If so,
Let's imagine this,
Your abusers wind up finding you dead,
Not that big of a deal,
They knew it would happen,
But they didn't know that you could do something like this,
They end up charged with first degree manslaughter.
But that school you went to?
That person you played with at recess in elementary,
They knew about the abuse,
They knew about the depression,
And they blame themselves.
And then they end up self harming.
Until they end up accidentally killing themselves.
Your teachers?
Your favorite teacher that saw the bruises,
But did nothing about it,
Just got fired for slacking off.
And your other teachers?
They retired because they couldn't even look at where you used to sit,
Without breaking down,
They all cared.
That person who had a secret crush on you was heartbroken.
Your friends all cared.
Your teachers cared.

No matter what,
Everyone has a purpose.
No one deserves death.
No one desereves the pain of wanting to die,
Suicide stops your pain,
By transferring it to someone else.
It kills two people.

Terry Collett Jul 15

Ward sat
just in front of me
in class.

Ginger haired
with ears
that seemed
to go red at the tips
when someone
spoke to him.

He seldom
put his hand up
when questions
were asked
and if he did
his ears would go red
and his ginger hair
seemed to stand up
on end.

You play chess?
He asked me
one playtime.

Sure been playing
since I was 7 years old
I replied.

Play you now?
He said.

Sure if you like
and he took out
a pocket chess set
from his jacket pocket
and set it on the ground
of the grass.

We lay there
and he set up
the small pieces
and then we began.

He was good
and won
the two games
then the bell went
and we went
back to class.

Yehudit looked
over at me
her big blue eyes
seemed to
be asking me
where I went playtime.

I smiled at her
she smiled back.

Ward played
good chess
but she was
good at kissing
even if she didn't
play chess.

She knew the moves
as good as Ward did
but in a different game
and a different rule.

I saw her later
on the bus
after school.

Terry Collett Jul 14

On the playing field
was second to none
but off it
he was a big turd
who bullied boys
smaller or less skilful
than he was at football.

We were in the school
changing room
waiting for the PE teacher
to pick his team
for the match.

Underhill came over
to where I was standing.

I've seen babies
dribble better
than you Coles
he said.

And I've smelt
their nappies
reminding me of you
I replied.

He squared up to me
his 6ft over my head.

You want to watch
your mouth frog.

You're blocking out
my daylight.

Other kids
made a small circle
around us
and chanted
fight fight fight.

I've seen toddlers
kick a ball
better than you
he said.

I shouldn't stand still
too long or a farmer
might mistake you
for dung and spread you
over his land
for fertilizer
I replied.

Fight fight fight
the kids chanted
about us.

I got on my toes
ready to weave
and punch.

He stood toe to toe
with me looking
down at me.

the PE prat bellowed out
from the changing room

The kids dispersed
and I mingled with them
Underhill tried to mingle

Well what is
going on?

Nothing Sir
Underhill said
just showing others
my passing skill.

The PE prat
looked around at us
his beady eyes
searching out victims.

Right line up
I need a solid team
to play against
Barnside Seniors.

We lined up
against the wall.

I wouldn't be chosen
(thank God)
but Underhill was
almost straight away.

I was hoping
the team lost
it would make
my day.


The reward for twelve long years:
A black graduate’s cap
And a red ceramic cup?
Little did I know,
A welcome to real life
Where I would sit and sip
Rare carefree moments
With bittersweet Joe,
Now, my oldest and truest friend.

A poem From a long time ago.
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