Dark Shadows

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The hardships that
My life has brought
Don’t mean that much to me
They are but things
Which helped define
The man I’ve grown to be

Without the good
I would not be
The person Im now
Without the bad
I know my heart
Would be different somehow

As I sit here now
I take a glimpse
And reflect upon my days
I see the things
Which most stand out
That I’ve known along the way

I see my youth
A little boy
Running in the summer sun
A Dark Shadow
Stood over me
Yet still the days were fun

No child should live
Their days in fear
Of having to come home
They should never have
That constant dread
Wherever they may roam

Some inner rage
Filled him inside
Which I always could see
It tore his soul
I know that’s why
He said those things to me

I’ll never know
That thing inside
Or what upon him fell
But I do wish
To let him know
That I harbor him no ill

I see him now
In a hospital bed
After the stroke that he had
I know he’s trapped
In his own body
With the demons in his head

And I can’t bring forth
Great feelings of love
There’s only sorrow inside of me
There’s no great love
Of Father and Son
‘Cause he would never let it be

So I ask the Lord
To give him now
An ease to his inner strife
May he find at last
The inner peace
That was missing in his life

I’m sure he meant
No harm at all
With the names he daily gave
But what you sing
To the cradle
Can go clear to the grave

What it gave me
Was a dark cloud
On the horizon it would stay
Though I never really
Understood why
It just would not go away

An impending sense
Of dark foreboding
Or of some terrible thing
Always loomed
Out there somewhere
That’s what each day would bring

Those types of scars
They run so deep
And many years it took for me
To accept myself
And not to hate
The one in the mirror that I’d see

In early days
Riding down some street
I’d quietly wonder inside
As I saw each house
I thought to self
What secrets did they hide

Mere words can not
Express it clear
All the hurt he always gave
But it made me feel
Simply not worth
The effort took to save

For years I felt
To be worthless
My soul was such a mess
It felt as if
No one could hear
Silent cries in the darkness

Not all was great
But with the help
Of Special Ones along the way
They filled my days
With love and warmth
And kept Shadows at bay

Some of them are
No longer here
Their time on Earth was through
But the Special Ones
You still can see
Reflected in the things I do

And I miss them so
Most every day
Their efforts so worthwhile
It’s because of them
And it’s their credit
Every time I laugh or smile

Then I grew up
And left this place
Thus began my Army years
And the memories
Of the ones most dear
Helped me face my fears

So out I went
Into the World
And lived as best I could
I lived more life
Throughout those years
Than I ever thought I would

I saw great things
I felt great pains
And within its own time
I learned to quell
The voice within
This troubled heart of mine

But all those things
Came with a price
It was hard for me to pay
So many years
With my Special Ones
I’d missed along the way

I’d come back home
From time to time
To see changes in the place
A few stood out
Others subtle still
As the age crept in their face

And I’d think of all
The years I’d missed
That I never could reclaim
In my mind they’d be
Just as when I’d left
But nothing was the same

Each time I left
I wondered still
How would it be next time
How many changes
Could I endure
To those close in my mind

And so I’d leave
Just one more time
I’d leave them all behind
With a longing heart
And swallowed tears
I’d leave this home of mine

Knowing the whole time
I’d return one day
To see more changes still
I held it off
All the years I could
‘Til I no longer had the will

But the years spent gone
I think worth the price
For the changes made in self
The memories made
I’ll always treasure
As I put them on a shelf

For I learned to face
My darkest fears
To keep my own Shadows at bay
To sort things out
In the still of night
Then rise to face each day

The Dark Shadow that
Once stood over me
Held no more power in my life
For I’d learned how
To break the cycle
Of living my days in strife

Through battles fought
Out in the World
I’d found a better way
Than living life
With constant dread
And peace was here to stay

Then I had the joy
Of coming back
And knowing family once again
I’d came full circle
Back to where
My days had all began

Within just years
I lost a few
Of the ones I held so dear
But to know them again
At their end of life
Still brings my eyes to tear

They’d meant so much
To me through life
Of that I’m sure they know
‘Cause with my own words
I told them clear
Before they had to go

To give something back
To those held dear
For all they’d gave to me
While they were still here
To hear the words
From the man I’d grown to be

To see in their eyes
They knew their life
Had helped someone in pain
They’d made a difference
They’d touched a soul
And their lives were not in vain

So I sit here now
With the journey made
And my dreams that time did bend
I face the days
I hope still to come
Knowing not where it will end

And I know inside
No one in this World
Is as rich a man as Me
From the souls I’ve known
I pass it on
For I have my own family

And my deepest prayer
With quiet reverence
Is my Sons won’t have to know
What it was like for me
To spend my youth
Underneath that Dark Shadow

If I can give them
Nothing else
But a kind and gentle heart
Then the scars in me
Have been worth the price
And the turmoil that it’s wrought

‘Cause when they smile
And their eyes do shine
Every time that they laugh
To pass the gifts
Of my Special Ones
That will be my epitaph

To know they’re loved
To live not in fear
Of what today may bring
To see them live
Their youth in joy
It does make my heart sing

To know they’ll look
Back on their early days
And see good not see bad
To know their own
Dark Shadows do not
Have to be their Dad

And in this way
My Special Ones
Though gone still spread their joys
A piece of them
And the gifts they gave
Lives on in My Boys

2 thoughts on “Dark Shadows”

  1. this is a wonderful poem and i think it will mean a lot to everyone as much it means to me to write a poem like that

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