There is a Place
Arthur G. Finch
Age Rating: 16 +
There is a place called make believe;
And all good children there receive
Rewards of love, under the sun.
I stood one day and watched their fun.
Not for me this awesome place,
I hung my head in my disgrace.
I was an orphand, sent away,
And I remember to this day.
Mother was sick, could not get well,
We lost our home, we had to sell
For nothing 'cause the banks shut down,
I wanted to cry, but made no sound.
My breakfast was our only egg,
And dad told me I'd have to beg.
Handed me a pasteboard suitcase,
Rope tied, to keep my clothes in place.
We'd suffered days of recession,
That turned into great depression,
I left my home, tears in my eyes,
Wondering where my future lies.
At five years old, I spent the night,
Under the cemetery light,
And wept beside my mother's grave.
I promised her that I'd behave.
That I would be the boy she wanted,
Yet through the long years, I was haunted.
With memories of happier days,
I asked if integrity pays.
Then, the very first morning broke
It was raining when I awoke.
And then my suitcase fell apart,
I asked God, where to go or start.
He was quite, had not much to say,
On rainy days it's hard to pray.
With belly empty, body wet,
I tried to remember and yet.
Things you said, the rules you made ,
But mom I find myself afraid.
I tied my stuff up in my shirt,
Did my best to wipe off the dirt.
Tied it onto a hobo stick.
Began to learn the hobo trick.
I learned to lie, to cheat, and steal.
And drink that stuff out of the still.
At twelve, I learned my dad was dead,
And buried beside you, head to head.
I realized I had played the fool,
And in the state youth reform school
I failed to do the things you taught,
But it's really not all my fault.
I was just five when sent away
And regret it until this day.
I've learned now there is a choice,
Should not have obeyed my father's voice,
But played it out without the sin.
And seen how these things could have been.