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Get A Clue a poem by Codey

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Get A Clue

a poem by Codey

When finished shopping and leaving the store,

you saw the basket there by the door.

you paused for a moment and silently read:

'food for the poor' is what the sign said.

Being in a rush, tho you weren't going far,

you walked on by and hurried to your car.

Dinner was at five and not wanting to be late,

you didn't have time to stop and donate.

The kid next door was out in his yard

wrestling with friends, no holds barred.

Giving it his all in all that he did,

happy and playful, a typical kid.

You recieved a call from a leader of your church,

some people had cancelled and left him in a lurch.

But with prior commitments and things you'd long planned

you tried to explain, so he'd understand.

At another time on another day,

you're sure you'd be able to find a way.

There's no chance tonight and for a good reason.

It's Monday night and football season.

The kid next door was taking out thier trash,

battered and bruised from a bicycle crash.

He wanted to talk tho stiff and sore,

but you walked away before he could say more.

A fellow worker has a child with cancer.

She needed time off and awaited an answer.

She was always on time and got her work done.

Could she please have a day to spend with her son?

You discussed it with management during a leisurely lunch.

If you gave her time off, it would leave you in a crunch.

You really couldn't spare this hard working clerk.

Giving her the time off would cause you extra work..

The kid next door has his arm in a sling,

broken in a fall from his backyard swing.

As he told you the story, he didn't look you in the eye.

You didn't think he wanted you to see him cry.

Your servor had crashed and you had to work late

and the traffic was heavy on the interstate.

An elderly couple was changing a tire,

partially on the road, their predicament was dire.

Stopping and helping would not take much time,

but you were out of shape, no longer in your prime.

While changing a tire wasn't such a great task,

Risking your health would be to much to ask.

The kid next door sits stareing at the ground

and silently weeps, if no one's around.

You wonder what it is that's making him sad?

To make this boy cry, it must really be bad.

The shouting was loud from the house next door.

It was getting more frequent and harder to ignore.

You awoke with a start...you must have been dreaming.

It couldn't have been a child you heard screaming.

Closing the windows stiffled the noise of the fight,

so you never heard the sirens or saw the flashing lights.

And tho you couldn't sleep, try as hard as you may

You never saw the ambulance take the kid next door away.


The kid next door is dead at seven years of age,

beaten to death in an uncontrolled rage.

You feel so helpless and don't know what to do.

If only you could have helped him.... if only you'd had a clue.


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I was honored too see the draft of this poem and in it's finished form it is even better.

Some art just sits there to be enjoyed like an azalea bush. It requires nothing, demands nothing and it is simply something pretty to please the senses.

When that art be it poem, prose or oil prompts us to think differently and even to be better people, then it has crossed an invisable barrier to become something greater. It carries a Devine spark from your heart to the mind of the reader. It becomes important.

You've done that with this one my friend. This is an important piece. It doesn't just inspire the reader. It demands that they Get A Clue.

I'm not kidding. I want a signed, first edition copy of your coffee table book as soon as it becomes available.

I'll get to say, "I knew Codey before he got famous."

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Codey -- I want to second James' and Dude's comments. This is an outstanding piece. You're simply telling a powerful little story that makes the reader cringe at how often they'd done those things.

Well done!


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This is SO MUCH MORE than a simple little story, a simple little poem. It has opened my eyes and it has touched my heart, little bro. It brought back a lot of memories too, memories I had long since tucked away quietly and forgotten.

In many ways, I can see myself as the little kid next door in the poem. I want to say more but right now I can't. I'm sorry.

Thank you for writing this, Codey. This story touches me in a way few have.



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What was your motivation for this piece?


Sometimes things happen in our lives that we have no control over. Some things are so bad that the only explanation is that we deserved what happened?that we are to blame for what happened to us. It doesn?t matter whether it was abuse or a tragic lose, the feeling is the same.

I was never abused in anyway but after reading a poetry book by Rodney Timms, a survivor of terrible abuse as a child, I realized that how he felt was how I feel. (http://www.callingallhearts.com/index.html) I googled ?child abuse? and did some research and found similarities between my feelings and those of other survivors of abuse.

Many, who are child abuse survivors, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as I do. I know what it?s like to feel undeserved guilt that you can?t control. No matter how many times we?re told that it wasn?t our fault and we shouldn?t blame ourselves, we know in our hearts we are to blame. We know in the same way you know the sky is blue. It doesn?t matter how many times refraction of light is explained to you and that the sky really isn?t blue, you know in your heart that it is blue.

This guilt can be over powering at times. So much so that there seems to be only one escape. This is something all people with this syndrome live with on a daily basis.

There is no real cure and this is something you live with every hour of everyday for the rest of your life. We have to put a stop to child abuse, of all kinds, and break this cycle. If my poem helps motivate one person to become involved in prevention, then it has done its? job.

The poem is actually two of my poems that I combined into a single poem. The short verses were from a poem I wrote called ?The Kid Next Door?. It appears in its? entirety. The longer verses started out as a poem to show how we see little opportunities every day to help others but always find excuses to salve our consciouses, as to why we don?t. It didn?t want to be written that way and I struggled for a month with it before giving in and writing it the way it wanted to be written. About half way through it I realized the two needed to be together to give the poem more power. I made a few changes and I like the way it turned out.

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