just in tokyo - a city guide book

Borland (8/29/94)

a wife a son
and one
sad man left alone
in his home
turns back
back to smack
five bags lined up
twelve new yorkers lain down

i hear the sounds
of family's cries
discovered lies
and sighs
they would surmise
this man dies
because he wants to

i remember
a Husband in sleeves
on a beach
a new Father
chased by his child
a Storyteller
gifted, with an eye twinkle

strong hands
strong stands
a black sheep
a red sheep
never meek
but weak?

what was the pain
that he retained,
too hard to be hisself.
no quarter given
when four quarter taken
craving more than help

now we see,
thru death's glazed glass
someone with different skills
talents unused
borne of suffering
that pain that heroin kills.

How this man
in a family of lawyers
expected to carry his weight?
when not his type
this legal hype
and talk to prove one's might.

a Writer he
and musical too
but never enough to make it
a "crank" he became
and so he'll remain
a square peg that did not fit.

now with death comes questions
for a wife with much to bear
a son to raise
her family fazed
and long community stares

Did he fill the needle past full?
or was it just some bad smack?
did he in his heroin haze
mean to end his days
and pull himself off our back?

his heroin habit has shown
a man different from him we've known
a world he has seen
where we've never been
memory mistrust is sown.

Remember John not like this
cuz it's not the addict we'll miss
but a man of brains and charm
of worldly wit and grace
when I see Gabe smile
there I'll see John's face.

- J. Hall

borland | family | poe | ritteds

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