The Back Row

As a boy, my place was in the back row

Where silent people gather to be alone

Limbs heavy with mystery in my marrow

My gaze a barrier to those who wanted in

                     ………………….

Safety for my heart never an expectation

Trusting only in despair and confusion

Self-expression a concept not understood

My soul flooded with fear and desperation

                     ………………….

Bewilderment and frustration my siblings

Parents and authorities my tormentors

Silence and invisibility my weapons

Dark and empty rooms my saviors

                     ………………….

Yet there was evil lurking in those rooms

Wearing the masks of friendly family men

They tore the curtain of good and evil

Ripping apart the fabric of my being

                     ………………….

These men who sent me to the back row

The ones who filled my legs with concrete

Their carnal appetites fed on my future

Their threats to kill destroyed memories

                     ………………….

Five decades later these demons emerging

Ribs snapping and cartilage tearing

Searing my heart with pain all over again

Shocking I could hide so well for so long

                     ………………….

Out from under the weight of the mystery

Yet diminished not my anxious life habits

Calling out to the others in the back rows

Tear down the veil and deliver body blows

                     ………………….

Dark rooms and whispered voices the defeats

Real healing happens out on the streets

These words delivered in the light of day

Ensure that the back row will have its say.

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2 responses to “The Back Row

  • zastre

    I remember you mentioning to me the existence of this written work. Did you write these shortly after ceremony? If there is space that has opened up for you since the original writing and the time right now, are there new and different words which also reveal the truth? This is just me being gently curious…

    Like

    • photosentinel1953

      Great question. This was written while I was on my latest road trip. I met a very interesting man, a songwriter, and shared my story with him. A few days after spending time at his place, I was moved to communicate to him what it was like back then. I couldn’t have written this particular poem even last year. But more to your question, there are many new and different words that reveal the truth for me, and I am writing them down every day. I am experiencing a wave of creativity these days.

      Like

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