Creative Work Poetry


By Jacob Allen
“All I got left is this art”

Momma, where did you go?

Ten years old I was at the gate,
Frantic, enraged
As you jumped in the back of that Impala to
Run from the life you couldn’t stand
And chase the life you swore away.
Ten years old and I saw you
Looking like an ad in a magazine
As you replaced your blood with methamphetamine

Momma, where did you go?

Chasing your shadow
was the only thing you taught me to do,
Pacing along the lines you snorted
You never seemed to have the time
And your crimes were tantamount to
All I ever wanted was
A normal life
With a normal family
But for you there was no rhyme or reason
Your life was seasoned with
And remorse
Trying to reach out to you was like trying to
Speak in Morse
My voice turned hoarse as I
Screamed into the void you left
inside my heart.

How could you do this, Momma?

How could you leave behind your only child
How could you leave behind your husband
Your life
Your friends and family
For a man who beat you down and crushed your spirit
Who drove you back to the very vices
You told me you were done with?
The tattoo on my chest feels fresh
With emotion and new meaning,
But just as it has scarred my skin
So have you put yet another scar over my calloused heart.
How could you leave me with this feeling
Of abandonment, heartbreak and disillusionment?
Isn’t my mother supposed to be my rock?
My guiding light?
My soft place to fall or the calm of my storm?
How could you give me hope that after 13 years, we could start again?

I’m here now, Momma.

In a sealed room I hear the IV go
Drip, drip.
All the while the time goes by it’s like
Tick, tick…
Nurses and doctors come and go
They put on a show, a performance,
To try to convince us that these
Minutes, these
Seconds, these
Words that we try to exchange for comfort
Aren’t really the last we’ll ever have together,
As you lay there, gulping for air like
A fish out of water.

This is goodbye, Momma.

Now you sit pretty,
Your carbon collected in a jar to make us
Feel like you’re still with us,
Is it wrong that I feel validation?
Is it wrong that I feel the need for sedation?
Have patience, the man in the chair is sayin.
How could I be patient when inside there’s nothing but exasperation and desperation for my life current station?
Momma, you made this!
And now the fallout has come,
And I can feel the iron curtains unfurl around my heart
All I got left is this art
Back to start,
Wherever you are
I hope we meet again in the next life,
Try the whole thing again.
Maybe you’ll find something worth living for,
Maybe, just maybe, things will be different in the end.

About the Writer: Jacob Allen is a poet, actor, and musician based on Houston, TX. He is deeply focused on his community and nurturing the next generation of artists, and works as a teacher at the Queensbury Theatre, teaching production classes and workshops for kids K-12. More than anything in this world, he loves his dogs and his tiny, wonderfully dysfunctional family, who have seen him through every hardship and lauded every success in his life.

3 replies on “Momma”

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