I’ll do it – Poem

A great childhood friend wants me to write for him.
We lost another.

He said he wants to remember the memories
that made him a better person while being with him

We knew Sean since early childhood. Sean didn’t have it easy.
Now, he’s gone.
So I’ll write
The best that I can. And he’ll give that to Sean’s mother.

Life’s a funny thing until it’s not.
If I close my eyes, I see Sean, with his wide grin
laughing and going on with a story.

I tried telling myself it was no big deal.
I don’t know about how to fix any of this.

 

-M. Taggart

A Short Story

A Short Story
Written by
-M. Taggart
Non Fiction

A Short Story

 

It was her birthday. She wanted to talk. A lot. I like to listen, but had planned on reading a book. I ordered a Guinness.

She told me she was lucky to make it. She was now 60. She didn’t say the number out-loud, instead she faced me and asked me to count her fingers.

For the next half hour I listened to her story. She had lived in foster care, had been abused, physically and mentally, found herself at 18 with a vicious tongue and lost herself completely in her twenties.

She had attempting suicide multiple times. The last attempt landed her in a coma and in the hospital. During the explanation of her life she bounced from age-to-age and from addiction to health. By her mid-thirties she had once again found herself and had stopped drinking. She also stopped using drugs.

She found both again and lived another round of almost not living. She was homeless for a time. She vomited feces while she was dying. She woke up on a Monday, put her make-up on, and lived.

I didn’t bother trying to read my book. I wanted her to finish her story. This happens to me often when I sit at the bar. I don’t mind. When I don’t want to talk, I stand in the corner, alone, with a book and a beer.

She is very kind. Full of love for life and happy to have not died during her attempts to end hers. She told me this while pouring her new beer into an empty pint glass. Her eyes widened as she started a new chapter of her story.

Slowly, I entered small facts about myself into the conversation. “You lived in Turners Falls, MA?!” she replied? “No, I went to High School in that town. And Turners was a border town to my home town.” “No wonder you had anger! There’s nothing there!”

That wasn’t the reason I had anger. I love that town.

She knew the drug houses, the homeless issue, the violence, the left over edge one has after spending any length of time in that region. And here we sat, in a pub located in Maine.

She asked if I was familiar with Greenfield. “Yes. Greenfield is where I was in one-too-many fights and also where I spent time in jail.”

She told me she lived in the woman’s home in Greenfield and that’s where she got clean. It took over a year, but they were amazing to her and saved her life.

I told her I wrote a short story that had much to do with the small town mindset of that area. And there we sat, enjoying our lives in the now, talking about the past. About the very town where I’ve lost friends due to addiction and violence. The very town where I found love for the first time and where I learned driving alone late at night, with the windows down and radio off, was a form of freedom that I was only just beginning to understand.

 

-M. Taggart

Never Give Up

I believe there is great strength in the ones who fight to not abandon. I think we all carry levels of pain. Some scars we can all easily see and help to care for and caress back to a version of functional health. Others are buried so deeply they’ll never be seen or fully understood. I find weakness in the ones that abandon. A selfishness that destroys itself in final completeness.

Overcome Hardship, lead, and live well.

My family is riddled with suicide
I myself am not suicidal
Quite the opposite. I love life.
In fact for much of my life I’ve experienced
Jealousy from others over my ability
To be happy in terrible situations
And unfortunately I’ve been forced to live
through a few extra ordinarily bad situations
But that’s OK. I learned to enjoy watching leaves drop
And how to find solace in the darkness of my eyelids
Nothing is too large for me to handle
My confidence, I’m forced to shade, yet people still see
And it bothers them
And so be it
I was the one ready for the midnight phone call
When he said he’d taken the pills
With the alcohol and that he’d be dead soon
I was the one on the phone when the police
entered his home with the paramedics
Listening to him scream for them to leave
I was the one who calmed him
The one that walked his mind to the ambulance
to thank the police and EMTs for trying to
let him live
I called the hospital they were taking him to
I was on the phone with their personnel in the
Emergency room while he was being wheeled in
‘Yes, we’ll have a psychiatrist sent in as soon
as they empty his stomach. Thank you for this
information.’ I had to tell them things he would
not have. The root of his weakness.
I don’t know why these things happen
I know that I am blessed because these moments
are never too large for me.
He is now happily married and an amazing father
And one of my favorite people on this Earth
I told him two years before he tried committing suicide
that he was going to try to end his life
So when the phone rang and I saw the number
I was ready
Because I’ve already lost too many family members
this way
So no, I am not suicidal, but I write about death and suicide
because I know it well and I know its pace
and the path it takes
I am not afraid of death
I am concerned with the process which leads to death
I think to die well matters
And if you haven’t found your absolute truth of
how this all works
Well, I hope you do
Because I know beyond doubt
That we are not alone

-M. Taggart

Thanks for reading. This wasn’t easy to write.

Not Their Void – A Poem

My grandfather was orphaned
While in utero
His father committed suicide
Before he was born
His mother gave him,
Along with his siblings
To the state

When he was 18 he joined the Navy
And never looked back
I wish I could have known him
He held me once
When I was six months old
He was 41 when he died
I am told I’m a lot like him

Our neighbor’s husband is moving to Florida
They have a young son and daughter together
And both are now stuck with abandonment’s scar for life
I hope he enjoys his new life
And that he eventually realizes his flesh
Is worthless
It infuriates me to know there are people in this world
So void they rip holes where hearts beat
Hearts held in place by tiny frames
And little feet with little hands
Please little ones, understand you are not their void.

-M. Taggart

poem-

I don’t want to think about that right now-
I want to listen to my open window
I want to listen to the street
I want to hear the wind blowing the tops of the trees
I want to smell the air
I can hear the pushing wind driving into the leaves that are left over
from the winter drop
I wonder why they hung on

-M. Taggart
copyright 2018

Odd Walking Thoughts

when a child doesn’t move and it isn’t their choice. they remove hurt with a pillow missing. cross their heart with thought. don’t tell that child what is. scraping winds picking up their tears. we’ll live again. sink now. the missing pillow gave way. it was never their fault.

-M. Taggart