Once on a yellow peice of paper with green lines

he wrote a poem

and he called it "chops"

because that was the name of his dog

and thats what it was all about

his teacher gave him an A

and a gold star

and his mother hung it on the kitchen door

and read it to his aunts.

that was the year Father Tracy

took all the kids to the zoo

and he let them sing on the bus

and his little sister was born

with tiny nails and no hair

and his mother and father kissed alot

and the girl around the corner sent him a

Valentine signed with a row of X's

and he had to ask his father what the X's meant

and his father always tucked him in bed at night

and was always there to do it

once on a piece of white paper with blue lines

he wrote a poem

he called it "Autumn"

because that was the name of the season

and that's what it was all about

and his teacher gave him an A

and asked him to write more clearly

and his mother never hung it on the kithcen door

beause of the new paint

and the kids told him

that Father Tracy smoked cigars

and left butts on the pews

and sometime they would burn holes

that was the year his sister got glasses

with thick lenses and black frames

and the girl around the corner laughed

when he asked her to go see santa claus

and the kids told him why

his mother and father kissed alot

and his father never tucked him in bed at night

and his father got mad

when he cried for him to do it

once on a paper torn from his notebook

he wrote a poem

and he called it "Innocence: A Question"

because that was the question about his girl

and thats what it was all about

and his professor gave him an A

and a strange steady look

and his mother never hung it on the kitchen door

because he never showed her

that was the year Father Tracy died

and he forgot how the end

of the Apostles's Creed went

and he caught his sister

making out on the back porch

and his mother and father never kissed

or even talked

and the girl around the corner

wore too much make up

that made him cough when he kissed her

but he kissed her anyway

becuase it was the thing to do

and at 3 am he tucked himself into bed

his father snoring soundly

that's why on the back of a brown paper bag

he tried another poem

and he called it "Absolutely Nothing"

because that's what it was really all about

and he gave himself an A

and a slash on each damned wrist

and he hung it on the bathroom door

because this time he didnt think

he could reach the kitchen-