Hey, Charley


Hey, Charley…what goes through your head at night,
While you lay, confined, in your prison cell,
Serving your sentence in the prelude of Hell?
Do you see Kathleen’s face in the dim light?

Do you still hang on to that one embrace?
That one moment in time when you felt love;
Is that the memory that you most think of?
Does it still bring a smile to your face?

Or maybe it’s Sharon’s face that you see,
All pretty and plump, sliced from stem to stern;
Receiving a fate that she didn’t earn-
Left alone to die, like so much debris.

So tell me, Charley, what? who do you see?
What images are conjured in your mind?
How do you want your life to be defined?
What should be the headline on your marquee?

And what lessons should we learn from your life;
That there is a monster inside us all?
That even the most innocent can fall
Victim to madness and a stranger’s knife?

Or is there a bigger lesson to be learned?
Is there some secret that we cannot see?
Does the answer lie in you or in me?
Is it a lesson that can’t be discerned?

Withered and gray, do you still think you’re Christ?
Were you the ‘Second Coming” that we sought?
Did we misinterpret the lessons you taught
While Sharon Tate was being sliced and diced?

Go on, tell me Charley, what do you see?
What monsters inhabit your nightly dreams?
Charley, can you still hear their dying screams?
Can you hear me? Can you see me? Charley?


Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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