Things I Thought Were Mine

Just A Boy - CoverIt seems many of us–too many–grew up in a world most of our friends didn’t even knew existed… or so we thought. We sometimes kept it to ourselves, not wanting others to know, but then again, some of us just thought it was how life was. I’m not sure I thought either of those things, I just did the best I could to live in the world I was mine alone. I wrote a book about some of that life. If you haven’t read it, check it out. You might enjoy, Just A Boy. You might also find out that you, like me and my pal, were not alone in the world you knew, and the things you went through.

Things I Thought Were Mine

We weren’t best friends

But we were good friends

Me, the class clown… or was I

He, one of the amused audience


A practiced smiler, he was

Still carries it with him to this day

Though it isn’t as quick to arrive

Not as permanent, as it was back then


We did things together

Sports teams, parties, school

Avoided jail… or, did we

Watched a young man die


He never knew… or, did he

About the burdens I carried

The things behind my act

See the funny little clown


No one knew… or, did they

What I went home to

The terrors, the pain

The constant fear and dread


Some many years later

We shared a brief conversation

I told him about those things

Those dreaded Friday night lights


Things I thought were mine

Things I’d told no one… or did I

His eyes were moist, a solemn nod

As he said, “I know, man… me too”


I never knew… or… did I

Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn


  1. This poem kicks me in the gut, brings tears to my eyes, and clenches my heart, powerful poem Charles really impressed

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    so sad that you and he did not know what the other suffered , , , y’all might of been of help to each other. Stigmas are powerful barriers.

    • Yes. Just not something we shared back in those days. What went on at home, stayed at home.

  3. neenslewy said

    Brave and honest, mother’s have a special job to do and we are the lucky ones if we had mums who would protect us and look after us through high and low times in life.
    I read it twice.

  4. OMG Charles … touched me deeply … you were brave in sharing

  5. Truedessa said


    this is raw and emotional.. a vulnerable place..a time of darkness for neither of you spoke of what was hidden behind the brought tears to my eyes as I read it through..avoided jail..the jail within in can be a hard cell..the ending is powerful and thought provoking..your poems have a richness about them that only you can convey..

    You were right I would like this one and I did…as it made me feel..

    Have a wonderful day!

  6. Terry said

    this hit me right in the gut. you and I write similar to each other. straight from the heart and soul. What a great post this was!!!! Thanks for linking me to it

  7. Old Grizz said

    I was one of the lucky ones but I felt your pain as I read this. You are a very good writer.

  8. there is always a reason you know, something behind it all…there are reasons for the kids i have counseled and often it is getting there…i like the little doubting questions throughout…or did i…or did we…they bring a level of mystery and honesty too it…you had an interesting life man…

    pretty cool you got to talk to those 4 as well…

    • Thanks, Brian! I look at my interesting life (past and present) as research. God gave me the ability to write, and figured I would need some good material.
      Yes, talking to them on the day I wrote this was really a special blessing.

  9. Very emotional Charles, somethings are so difficult to talk about while it’s happening to you… it’s good that you’ve been given the gift of writing and so glad you could share it with your friend… beautiful, brave and sad… 🙂

    • They are difficult to talk about, but sometimes we do ourselves harm by holding them within. Back then, a person simply did not discuss their life at home–especially if it was bad.

  10. Anna :o] said

    Strong emotional write Charles.

    Last stanza sent a sad chill through my bones and the last line bore truth. Sometimes we shut out that which might make us uncomfortable when we have enough pain of our own.

    Anna :o]

    • The sad thing is how often we live in denial and shame, not realizing we are not alone. The conversation with my friend makes me wonder how many others were suffering the same fate we were. Something I will be writing about in the future, is the rash of teenage suicides that took place when I was a teenager. Our small town–population 2000–saw too many young people end their lives, and I wonder; were they being abused? Was their life at home on like mine and my friend?

  11. You capture the thoughts and sentiments that others might be afraid to voice. Bravo. I also write honestly, sometimes it gets me in a little trouble but I can’t do otherwise. I wear my heart on my sleeve, as the saying goes. I write the same way. Truth or fiction? There’s a little bit of truth in fiction and a little bit of fiction in every truth. You decide. Laurie from

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