Gibley Finds: Poetry

I came across this poem a while ago and, to get to the point, I think it’s brilliant. It really stuck with me and I think it’s very well written. I would go into a description or introduction about the piece before you indulge but it speaks so clearly, it’ll grip you quickly, so I find it unnecessary.

/u/mhwillingham, the author, posted this in the /r/ocpoetry subreddit and allowed me to feature it. Enjoy!


On Hell

The draft never came for us,
not in my lifetime.
But, I knew a lot of boys who wished it had.

In grade school, a fire-faced boy
with freckles like gunpowder,
cheeks like red balloons
so hard that the atmosphere left
my lungs limp and lonely.
Darkness crept into my eyeballs, from
the edges.
My whole body gasped.
I kissed the ground as I fell,
only the footprint of his soles remained
by the time I opened my eyes again.

By high school a reptilian shit eater
with slick, black hair like a locomotive beat me
like I was worth something. He beat me
like I owed him something. He beat me
like I could make things better.
But things never got better,
everyday the beatings came,
but nothing ever changed.
I tried stopping him,
but my fist cracked against his concrete rib cage.
So, I wised up and told the world that the fucker
had locked me in a locker during football practice.
It wasn’t true.
He was expelled and ended
up having to repeat the ninth grade.
I’ve always wondered who he took it out on after I left.

After his divorce,
my father took my brother and sister and I
to church. The preacher waxed lightning
with his tongue
the way silver shines.
He spoke of sin
And Hell
And forgiveness
And money.
And I learned how to pray for forgiveness
because I was a sinner.
Everyone there was a sinner
and we mostly lived up to it.
In that holy hall,
loneliness draped over me like a fireman’s blanket;
smothering my weak, electric rays- reaching out.
Its hard to make friends
in a place like that
when you never
understood the meaning of

I spent endless nights,
looking into the darkness,
talking to God.
If only I had known that
the darkness was the answer,
then maybe I would have

The draft never came for us.
Who needs a war when you can live like this.


5 thoughts on “Gibley Finds: Poetry

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