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Billy The Kid
By Mizblooze56
July 17 2006

Billy was outlaw.
And a child in a man’s
Body; He lived to die
And died he did. It wasn’t
Pretty, or sudden, but very
Predictable.
Not quick enough for him
Though, so he helped it along-
At his pace, when he was ready.
Not one second sooner.
I met him days earlier on in that
Path. It was watery, slippery
And not at all peaceful.
He told me one night in bed,
Matter-of-factly
That he couldn’t swim. He was
Deep in that valley, deep into that
Plastic bottle he learned to love.
He spoke of an old scooter he had
We spoke of secrets I am certain
One wouldn’t share with another
Unless there was complete trust
Understanding
And no judgments would ever be passed
On,
Should he leave me.
He did.
He appeared when my world was so small
I often thought of that valley.
I was given a gift by this stranger
I will take with me until my day to go
Arrives. I hold it dearly beneath my tough
Skin, in a deep place only a chosen few
 Have seen:
 A place of tenderness, kindness
And a sincere desire to hold the crying man
The suffering child
The man held prisoner of a
War few survive.
I knew more about him in
Two hours
Than I knew about those
I have known for years.
It takes one
To know one.
I write this now
At sun up
As this was the time of day
His demons would scream
In his ears
Howl at the moon
Bay at the gates to his soul
I felt the bed next to me shaking
Quivering soaked with sweat
And
Shortly after, his monkeys would toss him
Out of our bed
Running towards the kitchen
As if his ass was on fire.
And it was. I heard curses
Not meant to be heard
I felt the ground shaking
Along with every drop of sweat t
That followed him into that
Very bright light
As he opened the fridge door
Most likely praying his heart
Out that
There’d be something to silence
The roar in his ears.
I always made sure there was.
Some call it enabling
Some curse me
Some understand me.
Those who are the chosen few;
Risen from the ashes
Tossers of shoes that surrounded
Them above their heads
Those who stepped on the dishes
Scattered around their feet
That had been dropped from
Over-spinning
Those on their knees
Praying for one day
Of peace and the silence
Of their beasts
Understand me.
They say you can’t
Scare an alkie?
If you had seen the eyes I
first met days earlier,
You’d curse the man who made that
Incredulous statement.
Billy The Kid
Was terrified beyond
Any words I can find to describe
What went through his head
At four-in-the-morning
Making that marathon run
Into the bright white light
The too-cool air
Of the buzzing fridge.
I had been there before
And I know
The horror
Of uncertain drink
Behind the milk container
The wrinkling peppers
And bottled water
That would never ever
Put out the fire the monkeys
Had set moments
Earlier.
I heard the gulp
The belch
The sigh of relief
If only a temporary one
Which it always was
Till Saturday last-
When we all heard the
Sirens near by the River
And I knew who could not
Swim
Yet was floating in peace
On the surface.
Like the outlaw
All who wore a badge
Knew him
Like the outlaw
All who wore gloves
Silently placed them on their
Hands
Knowing it to be just a formality
As
Billy The Kid
Was one clean monkeys pet
Who,
On his first morning with me
Sprang from my bathroom
Boasting and grinning
Like a child who had discovered
His most wished for
 Christmas gift
The morning after-
Of trying each of my scented
Body washes
And,
No he hadn’t drowned.
Yet.
Squeaky-clean
Billy The Kid was
One perfumed alkie
Who shook as he dried his manly
Body
With a bright pink towel
Still grinning
As if this was
Something he had not done
In years. And was showing
Me
They were all wrong in their
Distant judgment of The Kid
Who never stood on any one’s
Welcome Mat anymore
As they were all pulled inside
Terrified praying
As they watched him come
Up their driveway
Hoping he’d go back
where
He came
From.
He tried to. That was killing him.
 The mat he had wiped his muddy
Boots on, as a child was gone also. And
So,
As the men in blues and reds
 Gowned up suited up, the
Men with their steel rides
Readied themselves to take
Billy The Kid to
That cold bright place
He
Would never see his peace
Behind the wilting pepper,
Or find a drink in never-
Ever again
Walked carefully
into the water
Where there would be no
Scented body washes
Or pink towels
And placed him,
Along with the now quieted
Monkeys into a plastic zippered
Cocoon
And hoisted
Billy The Kid
For one last quiet ride
Into a van.
Cameras snapping
People turning their heads
Crossing themselves. And
As I stood teetering
Next to a yellow plastic
Taped line that wore the words:
Crime Scene Stay Back! My
Black shades pulled tight
Against my still wet head
Wearing only the socks I slept in
Shorts I grabbed as if my home
Was afire
The tee I had fitfully slept in, I
Looked up at into the once friendly
Face of the paramedic who had
Recently taken my failing body to
The ER-
He nodded
Yes, Yes.
You were right.
And said
“Can you make it home ok?”
I turned away
Nodding back
Yes. Yes.
And saying quietly
To my own monkeys
Can WE make it home
All right?

I still wait for Billy The Kid’s
 Blackcap blue jeans white sneakers.
I listen for the cane he had
To click on the sidewalk.
I am home with my monkeys
The pink towels
The body washes
The bright fridge light when
I open it
Empty of his drink. And
The welcome mat I had picked up
On the advise of my Doctor
So I wouldn’t fall
Is back out side my door.
And
No, we are not all right.

Dedicated in loving memory
Of William F Meagher
Died July 15 2006
Medford Mass.
May you rest in peace
On a mat of golden flowers
And fly like an eagle above us all.

weakkneez@msn.com
 

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