Innocence Lost

Innocence Lost

A Poem by Pete
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"Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors." - Thoreau

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I remember the first time I heard the neighborhood kids using strange words I had never heard before with an angry, sarcastic tone.
I remember one of them extending a middle finger upward and waving it.
I remember thinking it odd.
Being awed.
Victim of fraud.
I remember in sixth grade when a boy said he liked "smoking weed".
The only thing I knew about weeds was that my father hated them in the yard and pulled them out.
I remember my first junior high school dance.
Standing in the corner in the dark.
Listening to 'Stairway to Heaven'.
Waiting for the day when I would ascend one.
I remember teenage friends saying they had, "Done it."
Not knowing what "it" was.
I remember them saying they had made it to first, second or third base.
Not understanding that it wasn't baseball they were talking about.
I remember watching T.V. and having to figure it out.
I remember asking my mother why people lie.
If it caused them to die.
I remember handing her clothespins while she hung laundry outside on the line.
I remember asking her why we didn't have a dryer.

I remember playing 'guns' in the woods, building a treehouse and not getting why it was so much fun or so fleeting.
That was long before they cut down all the trees and built more houses.
I remember when I joined the Marine Corps.
Hoping for more.
Looking for a way out of my dysfunctional home and dead end town.
'Til I realized I held the power in my hands to take someone's life.
I remember the nuns telling me to repent and confess.
Long before my soul was a mess.
I remember not laughing when everyone else was and laughing when everyone else wasn't.
I remember crying and bending down for a stray dog that had been hit by a car.
I remember when I stood firm with a clenched fist and didn't waver.
I remember being granted favor.
Savoring the flavor.
I remember who I was.
Just because.
I remember a lot.
Now, my father is in a wheelchair and wears a diaper.
My mother stone-deaf and feeble.
Yeah, I remember alright.
I remember when my soul was intact.
Before my life's essence was attacked.
I owed my maker a debt.
Until the damned world made me forget ...

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© 2019 Pete


Author's Note

Pete
"It would be well, perhaps, if we were to spend more of our days and nights without any obstruction between us and the celestial bodies, if the poet did not speak so much from under a roof, or the saint dwell there so long. Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots." - Thoreau

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Featured Review

This is so powerful. The innocence of youth held for so long even when we did not understand why others had lost it. Then life gets in the way and we realize all is not rosy. Our loved ones pass on and suffer before they do. That's assuming they live long enough to get to that stage. The circle of life....sometimes it seems like a vicious cycle. Your words pack a punch in this one....and it is easy to identify with them. Lydi**

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

great thoughts on the matter. thanks Lydi. oh to be a child again. life has a way of robbing our .. read more



Reviews

This is a flawless poem of innocence. Innocence that made us a happy soul and wander on peculiar things that surround us. However, life is a great manipulator, that forces us out of our comfort zone and experience gentle to excruciating things to be a stronger version of our own. We sometimes don't understand why innocence has to be taken away from us but just look into the brighter side, someday, we will realize. Be strong..

-Shine

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

was trying to remember some things that changed me and came up with this. perhaps the battle is to .. read more
Wow, Pete, an exemplary poem. What you said is so factual and so very true. The circle of life kick you right in the teeth.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

we don't realize how such things change and shape us. thanks for sharing your stark, honest thought.. read more
Dawn

1 Year Ago

:) my pleasure Pete...
I have my own instances of lost innocence, we all do. It is such a disappointment to have to accept that some things in life aren't quite what they seem. You have given some wonderful examples of this Pete. Your lines are powerful and get right under the skin of the reader. This is a truly thought provoking poem. Very nicely conveyed and probably one of the best I have read from you.

Chris

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

thanks Chris. we don't realize the impact of such life-altering things in our lives. a little self.. read more
Think every one passes through these stages at varying stages
Found that Santa Clause was really mum and dad buying the presents them selves out of dads meagre wages

scared to say anything in case my younger sisters lost their presents

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

thank you Rose. ugh, Santa Claus was a tough one. your thoughts are well appreciated ... :)
Your poem flows like a beautiful river carrying your readers through memories so much like yours, laced with innocence and amazement at all the young experiences. I am glad Emmajoy asked me to read your poem. To tell the truth even decades of growing up, i still feel that way about new experiences of life! some are absolute miracles and some are horrible tastes human nature.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

thank you so much for sharing thoughts Mrudula. we live, grow and change. all held in our outlook o.. read more
Mrudula Rani

1 Year Ago

You are welcome Pete.
Your poem made me remember when I puzzled over the very same things, long before I understood them.
Happily, the world and all its horrors (I remember being four, having two big boys of perhaps 12 hold me and force me to watch a large, vicious dog tear my kitten to bits) did not make me forget the debt I owed to my Maker.
I'll be damned if the world, in all its terror and turmoil,will get that much power over me.
Rise up, my friend, and tell the world that you JUST WON"T HAVE IT!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

how awful about your kitten. lost a cat to a wild animal once. so good of you to not let such thin.. read more
This is by far the most stunning thing you've written that I've read . . . in full agreement with Emmajoy who read-requested. Your word crafting is top notch & I always love it, but when you go more into true storytelling mode with deep feeling . . . you have a way that just knocks a person's socks off. It makes me want to try to write something of similar intensity from my own life in such a way. Reading you is such an inspiration for expressing our truths & trying to fully understand others' truths (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

thank you Margie for your kind thoughts. not always easy to open up and share such things. your ho.. read more
barleygirl

1 Year Ago

I just re-read this & I'm just as awed . . . so many parallel childhood experiences for me too . . ... read more
A very moving piece Pete.
Hard to pinpoint exactly where we lost it and if we went looking we'd never find it again.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

thank you so much Ana. yes, things have a way of creeping up on us and stealing our innocence befor.. read more
Your poem touched me in a way today that I find hard to put into words. It was powerful in its ability to remind and suggest. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

thank you 'a hare off'. so glad you could feel it. your thoughts are appreciated ... :)
' I remember crying and bending down for a stray dog that had been hit by a car.
I remember when I stood firm with a clenched fist and didn't waver.
I remember being granted favor.
Savoring the flavor.
I remember who I was.
Just because.

Pete, this could be the most relevant, elevated, sincere, superb and God-given piece of writing I've read in the cafe over ten years. Have dabbed my tears.. no - have wiped away my tears, swallowing hard, breathing as hard.. at what you've listed in such a magnificently simple but genuine way.

Every point might have been illuminated by an old monk who would and could instinctively know how to glorify extraordinary words.

You're a star, Pete. Truly.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Pete

1 Year Ago

em, this is God's honest truth from deep within and i so appreciate you seeing and feeling it. cann.. read more
emmajoy

1 Year Ago

Just edited my review, was poorly put because i was still catching my breath.. Pete, when someon.. read more
Pete

1 Year Ago

thanks. will do, em. promise. ... :)

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Added on October 29, 2018
Last Updated on August 14, 2019

Author

Pete
Pete

Boston, MA



About
I love reading, writing, music, nature, God and feeling emotion, not necessarily in that order. To me, these things go hand in hand. My favorite writer is Henry David Thoreau. I think he was a geni.. more..

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