He was her wild child from the first,

No one but she could see it,

He was a conniving little boy

Out-foxing all–who couldn’t believe it;

He broke the other childrens’ toys

When no one else could see him,

When confronted for his sins,

He’d vehemently denied them;

though no one could ever prove it,

He stole his third grade teacher’s ring;

He mocked his elders  and no one knew

He was taking everybody else’s things;

But grow he did, his father’s pet

who refused to see what we had found,

in jail before he turned twenty one,

He burned his friend’s shop to the ground;

When he couldn’t get his truck to start,

On that drunken drug-filled spree,

He stole the fire chief’s car that night

side-swiping cars with fiendish glee;

So, in and out of jails and prisons,

he mocked the system all his life,

Just before his fiftieth birthday.

This wild child ended it with a knife.

“It’s all your fault”  his father said,

laying the blame at the mother’s door;

she divorced the wild child’s paternal parent

and said “I’m not taking this anymore”

Sandra Lee Smith

composed January 18, 2015

updated July 14, 2018

Sandy’s note: the final chapter to this story (truly not a poem) filled three pages when I tried to honestly describe mine and my other sons’ years with their brother Michael, who passed away from lung failure in 2010. I don’t know of anything I could have done differently; I think there were many things his father could have done–starting with accepting some of the responsibility for his son’s behavior. -sls


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