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A poem, Joe's childhood home

Updated on February 21, 2012
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

Losers should never win

A burning house to most people brings feelings of terror and unhappy tears

To this teen-age boy Joe

It brought uncontrollable cheer

A house where he witnessed a too familiar scary scene

Dad hitting Mom

Waking him from a young man's peaceful dream

Late at night, laying in darkness, afraid to turn on the light

Over and over, the chilling feeling

Of deeply rooted fright

The visible bottle of whiskey on the kitchen table suddenly loomed so tall

His Mother crying

Afraid and looking so very small

Her face bruised, her eyes swollen and black

Him standing above her, fists clinched

No warning, another brutal attack

How many times had he been arrested, only to be set free

Returning to hurt again

Showing no mercy

Joe waited patiently, knowing the monster would soon pass out

He had a plan. He would act this time

With a renewed unwavering doubt

He would kill his Father. He could no longer stand the pain in his Mother's eyes

He didn't know exactly how he would do this evil deed

His only thought

Was to relieve this long embedded need

The smell of smoke woke him, seeing his Mother frantically dialing nine one one

He grabbed her hand, yelling,

" Come on Mama, we have to get out, RUN"

He looked in the bedroom where his Father lay

The room was engulfed in flames

There he would forever stay

Joe watched his childhood home literally burn to the ground

He felt no remorse

As his neighbors gathered around

He knew he and his Mother were finally set free

His Mother's pain, his nightmares

Both ended by a Master key

Now hopefully the inward healing will begin

With the gospel truth

Losers should never win.

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    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Max, I realize this is an emotional write. The Father burning his house with his two children inside brought this on. Thank you for your great work comment...

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This is so powerful and intense, emotional read. I went through the whole array of feelings while reading it, it's incredibly expressive, great work! wow.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audrey, I guess this is a never ending story, we hear about it nightly on the news..Thank you for reading..Cheers.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      I hate that we have so much of this going on in the world--that we can all understand it --that it gets accepted on some levels--sad write Ruby and such a sad reality for many--

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Prasetio, I know it is sad. An alcoholic in a family can lead to unhappy events. Thank you my friend...

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello rjsadowski, I think embedded in my psyche there must be a remembrance of an alcoholic Stepfarher. I think he appears quite often. I will read your work. Thank you...

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Hi, Ruby. Sorry...I am late to know this hub. Nice story though it's so sad. But again. I am glad to read this from you. Good job and rated up!

      Prasetio

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 

      6 years ago

      There must be a grain of truth in what you write.Those feelings have to be based on real life experiences. I also write "love poems and sad stories".

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Spirit Whisperer, Yes, The Mother had her share of blame, she should have left, but you know many do not leave. I will never understand this. Of course this is fiction, but if true, i would pray they both healed and Joe had the life God intended for him..Thank you so much..Your words of wisdom is appreciated..Cheers

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      The mother's inability to leave leaves the boy playing a role both parents have colluded in creating for him. He played his part well but will he ever get the part God chose for him?

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Elena, Thank you for reading. I am happy you thought it was a touching story..Cheers My friend..

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Aaawh... very touching story. I'm glad Joe and mum were set free and hope many others in that situation, will find a way out.

      Beautifully written.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Will, Thank you..Glad you liked my story about Joe..Cheers

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wow! Voted up and awesome!

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello billybuc, I think this piece came after seeing the news about a Father who burned his home with his two children inside. I realize it is stark, but these kinds of acts continue. I am happy that you found it a powerful write. Thank you very much....

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a story that all-too often is a reality. Thank you for writing about a subject most would bypass and bringing it to life in a beautifully powerful manner. Great hub!

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Caroline, Thank you for commenting. Happy you thought it was powerful...Cheers my friend

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 

      6 years ago

      Ruby very powerful love the end.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Lesley, Good to see you. Glad you found this moving. Thank you for coming..Cheers my friend..

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi ruby, powerful poem, awesome writing.

      I found this very moving and voted up.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Savanahl, I am sorry. So many of us have lived this life, including me. An abusive Stepfather who was an alcoholic and beat my Mother. I never like to write anything that will hurt another person. Thank you for commenting, looking forward to reading your beautiful poetry. Cheers my friend

    • savanahl profile image

      savanahl 

      6 years ago

      What a brilliant and powerful poem! It's been a long time since a poem gave me goosebumps. I think, as a child of an alcoholic father, I can relate to a lot of the feelings here, feelings I haven't felt in over 20 years. Brought tears to my eyes. Voted up and awesome. Thank you for sharing.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello SD, I will agree, it is stark. I am not sure where this story came from, i guess seeing on the news about the Father burning his house with his children inside. The stark reality is these things happen..Thank you for commenting..Cheers

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      Dawn 

      6 years ago

      AE this one was too stark for me.. I guess it has more to do with my mindset. Beautiful narrative.. Have a blessed day! Peace!

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hellp raciniwa, Thank you. You ask a great question, sometimes the abusers destroy themselves. I am glad you thought it was a great story..Cheers my friend..

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 

      6 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      this is a great story Ruby...although vengeance is not in our hands, but what would our future be under the hands of the abusers?

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Debbie, Thank you. I am happy that you thought this was powerful. Thank you for sharing on FB..Good to see you my friend..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ricky. I am so sorry that your wife was subjected to this kind of life. I can remember my Stepfather drinking and hitting my Mother. I was about 4-5 years old but the memory stays forever. Thank God she finally left him..Thank you for reading...Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello M.T., That story was so disturbing. How could a father do that to his family? I am happy that you found this powerful. Thank you so much..Cheers

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow that is so powerful.. and really quite good.. excellent writing here.. I love your poem. and so well told.

      voted way up Debbie

      I am sharing this on Facebook

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      AE, what powerful poetry. I had to share it with my wife cause this reminded me of her. She was witness to the unimaginable, a lot of bad things as a child. I believe some parents don't realize what they can do to their child as far as effects brought forth by violence and other acts. As always, a fantastic poem Ruby. Take care my dear.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Powerful poem always exploring. I too saw that story on the news about the dad that burned his house down with his kids in it. After further investigation they also figured out that the dad killed them with a butcher knife first. They still have not figured out where the missing mother is. She's probably buried or in some lake. Abuse is terrible and I like how your poem ended. It reminds me of the concept of charma. The abuser got what he deserved.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nell, I'm sure the abuse happens everyday somewhere. Sometimes i think i watch too much news, hardly any good news..Thank you for your vote..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello drbj, In my mind i was thinking he was a smoker and set his own bed on fire. I was a little vague on that. I should have mentioned seeing a burning cigarette on his bed. I am learning as i go..HaHa..Thank you much..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Joyce, I saw that on the evening news..What an evil man. I will never understand the mind of a person like that..Thank you..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ruchira, I felt Joe had suffered enough. Thank you so much for coming and your comment makes me smile..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello acaetnna, Thank you so much, thrilled that you enjoyed..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Eddy, Thank you for voting up and away..Cheers

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Cardisa, No, Joe was innocent. Justice was served without him carrying out his plan. Happy you liked my story and the rhyme..Thank you..Cheers

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Brilliant story Ruby, and sadly probably very true somewhere at some time, sad for the boy, but also justice too, voted up and everything! cheers nell

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Very powerful stuff here, Ruby. I could smell the smoke from here. Speaking of smoke, you wrote that 'the smell of smoke woke him' (Joe). Could that mean that his mother finally had the courage to set the fire? Just wonderin'. Regardless, a great effort. Voted Up!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Hi Ruby, Wow! this is a poignant poem.

      Here in Las Vegas a Mother went missing which was okay until the 6 year old said the last time he saw her she was in there car trunk. His father then killed his two sons and set the house on fire.

      Voted up and awesome, Joyce.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Memories are usually associated with things in our lives. I am glad Joe burnt it down. With the house burning, this little boy is burning those ugly memories as well.

      Beautiful indeed, Ruby!

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 

      6 years ago from Guildford

      A fantastic story, written in a remarkably brilliant way. You truly are a gifted writer. Voting up of course and pushing those buttons too.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant story Ruby which has to have my up up and away.

      Take care and have a great day.

      Eddy.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Ruby, it seem as if Joe didn't have to do anything at all. I can't say I am sorry for dad. I really can't stand abusive people. Great write Ruby and I like the rhyme.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nighthag, Happy to see you. Thrilled that you enjoyed my poem..Thank you for gracing my page...So many women find themselves in this never ending pain...Cheers my friend..

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Potent writing, full of loyalty, revenge and even love. Enjoyed it immensely

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike, You're still up and the first to read my story about a boy who could be real. Thank you so much. Your approval is important to me. I'm happy you thought the story was powerful..See you for coffee my friend...

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Always. What a story! Layer after layer, unfolds. Very powerful writing.

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