Henry, you’ve had 
To deal with so much quiet growing up 
Quiet rooms. Your mother goes to sleep 
Early on so many nights 
After having a glass of wine 

She cries a lot out of nowhere 
And you don’t know what to do 
Sometimes it’s about your dad 
And you miss him too 

But are you going to cry about it 
Every damn day? Of course not 
You cheer her up by acting calm 
Just being you 
Like that’s hard 

Everyone says you’re so strong 
The smelly old guys at the deli 
They say ‘Henry, you’re really taking care of your mom.’ 
You don’t know what they mean, and they smell funny 

So you take off. Eight years old, you’ve lived without dad for 
a long time now. In fact, you never met him. 
You never met him, but you still miss him. 


Is alone a lot. You’re by yourself in the quiet house. Sometimes you delve deep 
Into your imagination. Where most kids may stop their action figure stories at 
A certain point just to smash plastic and pretend about a few explosions 
You on the other hand 
Make up entire plots. 
Like the movies you see on television. 

No one knows what to make of you 
Sitting in the corner of the playground 
Making action figures talk instead of smashing them together 

You grow 
And you keep playing with figures 
Until you are 12 when for the first time 
You play guitar. It was given to you by 
Uncle Ronald who is a great guy 
But occasionally flies off the handle and 
Loses his temper especially while watching the goddamn 
One day you were watching a game and the Mets were getting killed and he said 
“You know what helps me relax, Henry? Music.” 
It was quite coincidental that Ronald mentioned that 
Because you, Henry, just started becoming fully aware 
That life at 12 is much harder than it used to be 
What with having to deal with those whispers behind your back 
And people at school picking on you. 

You started thinking about all those 
Mean words they say and replaying them in your head, you see things so vividly 
In your head and that is sometimes your worst enemy when you can’t stop thinking and repeating and wondering what could have been done or said better. And why do they hate you so much anyway? 

You start playing music with Ronald. He teaches you everything. C-Chord G-chord make ‘em dance together 

It sounds beautiful, and you forget. 
You know as you grow older you start getting angrier at dad for walking out 
I mean how could he do that? The immenseness of that decision begins weighing heavy 
On your consciousness. You’re seventeen now and you start to understand words like consciousness, you realize that dad just didn’t care about your consciousness, your being alive. He must not have cared. 

And the whole world starts to bother you. Grades are good. And you know what? Ronald was right 
All those problems fade away when you play that guitar 
But the amazing thing is, when you’re playing 
You get the sense of being more real 
Than your problems. You get the sense that your problems 
Are so small 
Compared to the unbelievable sound emerging from 
This soul satisfying instrument. And all those insults 
And slights from your younger years 
Your mother’s sighs and cries 
They just fade 

Ronald passes when you are 20. You cry because you understand 
He was the father you never had and he took it upon himself 
To be that father and failed a lot 
But hey, he didn’t even have to try 
And that trying made his failing impossible, in the reality 
Past people’s judgments, yours too 
Even though you can’t see that failing was impossible 
When it’s all said and done 
It was 

And it’s another one of those things you replay over and over 
In your head 
Why not be nicer? 
At all times? 
We have so little time, so little time 
There’s no time to be afraid 
So you have no problem 
Standing on that stage 
There’s so little time 
So you’ll scream louder than everyone else 
There’s so little time 
So you’ll bare your soul 
You’ll have a damn 
Snot bubble hanging out of your 
Nose while singing the chorus 
Because that’s rock and roll 
Rock and roll means recognizing 
There’s so little time 
So why not rock and roll 
Oh it happens so fast 
So fast 

Dear Damien 
Who you met at a Linkin Park concert 
You went to by yourself 
And you two found out 
You lived down the block from each other 
What are the chances? 
The chances? 
You form a band at 16 
He gets drunk with you when Ronald dies 
You say you love each other 
Best friends 

21 when you meet Amanda 
21 and strong 
21 and the animal on stage 
21 and she sees 
Who Henry is 
On that stage 
So you never had to explain 
Amanda, so soft 
The life Henry never had 
Amanda, so reliable 
The love Henry could never count on 
Amanda, sweet Amanda 
When she loses the baby 
You see what must be 
You see you must give it up 
Give up what your father could not 
The frivolity 
You must know who you are! 
Off a stage! 
It should have never taken that 
All that time 
You were a little boy 
Trying to fill an empty quiet house with noise 
Its use less 
All that noise 
Isn’t it? 
Damien keeps calling you back

And who’s that 

Sitting on the stoop as you stroll down the street

And your eyes meet

Penelope, Penelope 


About mw2828

I am a writer currently working out of the New York area. https://mythandmist.wordpress.com/ View all posts by mw2828

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