Cleaning Out the Attic

I was cleaning out the attic
of forty years of junk
When I came across old papers
and some old clothes in a trunk
There were bills marked paid and scraps
from so many years ago
And precious memorabilia
from where I didn't know

I came across an old green shirt
with patches on sleeves and chest
From troop one forty four when I was twelve
and passed my first class test
The shirt brought back angry memories
of innocence abused
Of debasement, humiliation
remembrance of being used

It made me feel so angry
I wanted to yell and shout
Then I looked again and saw
it was from such a little Scout
The shoulders were no wider than
a foot or so at most
He was a helpless little boy
his innocence then a ghost

He was young and not as big
as I remembered him to be
How could I think, either now or then,
that he could've wrestled free
I'm older now and wiser
but still a little boy
Who wants to love and be loved back
with innocence and joy.

I re-read this occasionally when I'm feeling down just to remind myself that it wasn't my fault and that I did everything that I could have at the time.


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)