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A Poem by Tom Kenney

I can’t forget the time I spent Putting out the fires Though I try my best, I never do No matter my desires

I go to sleep and try to think Of nothing but my wife But I lie in bed, and live again The chaos of my life

My shoulder aches, and I return To the night upon the ladder Suddenly it slips, and I grab ahold Of a light post I had straddled

From the roof, four hands appear Grab me by the arm They pull me up, and though I feel the pain They keep me safe from harm

So I roll over and change positions To try to continue sleeping But now my knee begins to ache And I picture myself creeping

As I crawl along a smoky floor I fall headfirst in a hole Hurtling downward toward the dark I fear for my very soul

But just in time, a brother saves me By lunging on my knee He keeps me from falling into the pit And drags me up, I’m free

Once again I moan, and try to find A comfortable spot on the bed As I finally begin to drift asleep I see visions in my head

I see a young girl with her face beat up Another under a truck A young man crushed in an elevator Where he had gotten stuck

I picture a family dead on the stairs Who had tried to get out A baby pulled lifeless from his room And I hear his mother shout

I wake up sweating, get out of bed And get myself a drink Take some pills and wash them down While standing by the sink

After a moment, the shaking subsides And I’m ready to try again As i pull the covers over my head I try to shut down my brain

It works for a while, but then I feel A throbbing in my neck And once again, I’m back in time To a night I’d rather forget

Every night, it’s always the same As soon as I go to bed It seems the pain I feel in my body Triggers the pain in my head