I Thought I was Alone

A few days ago, I posted a poem about the many people I’ve left behind as I steamrolled through life. The following is about one of them; true story—sad, but true. The thing is, we grow up thinking we’re the only ones going through what we’re going through, when there are others going through the same things. And we never even know it… or do we.

I Thought I Was Alone 

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 boy on curb

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



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