Archive for December, 2010

3 Poems by Zach Mathe

In the Dark

In the dark I sip coca-cola

as the days get shorter

the nights get longer

My eyes get darker

the sun gets brighter

but war will continue

I age, and get older

I no longer fight as a fighter


I’ve reached my limit of favoritism

these open walls now form my prison

I’m free to go which way I please

While strangers pass me invitations.

Maybe a group will come along

Too soon- would be our expectations

“We’ll wait for no one!” The people shout!

While I blend away to the segregated.

My sight is frozen in a pool of poison

My gaze is fixed on a culture eroding

My temper’s short, and my voice is strict

to a breed of vultures

that have shown me nothing



Balmy translucent night

take me with you

Gently caress my face

with your potent winds

Kiss me on the lips

with your absent light

Leave-Road, by Pao Cha

3 Poems, by Holly A. Johnson

awake in sound

music moves

plush raspberry velvet

and a bitter plank of wood

staccato stakes

sound straight into the ground

space is when you and i see

images we cannot think,

arriving by trios

when we actually breathe

cracked blue glass waves

lap onto terra cotta

who could invent such a thing?

rhythm of mind

in balance with

knees and knuckles

and heart


a pulse that means something


realizing anger came after i heard the mistake

much later.

true nature already knew its job

that moment

no problem

only intention for the one who has tried to harm

intention: may all beings be happy

this being

that being

all beings


gratitude for this moment’s gifts,

then trust reveals what is possible




extinguish desire,

extinguish anger,

extinguish ignorance


compassion heart opens

my heart straight to another’s

what is there to hold onto?

where can it land

in this no body?

with rosewood beads with silky red knots


palms up, (an offering, gentle)

i blow the dust

from my hands

Hope Song

today –

clear sound of two bells

through the din of suffering,

connect one song

courage, protection of another –

shared promise exhaled,

embraces the universe with hope

shout gently with every action

of your together-life

voice vibrates,

never having known doubt –

this is love,

this is love,

this is love.

Living Art, by Alison Fortney

This Girl, by Lisa Brancaccio

This girl

is taking a stand.

A stand against the man,

against the system.

The system that sits him

at the head of the table,

at the head of the home.

When I come home

I want to be alone,

alone at my desk

with my pen and my pad,

not alone in the kitchen

washing dishes and feeling bad.

Is that what I am

expected to do?

Fuck you.

I am independent

and I refuse

to be dependent on a man,

especially one without

a damn clue.

If you men only knew

all the shit we go through.

We spend our lives pleasing,

believing that what we are achieving

is a better standing,

a better chance at love.

The Lady said it best,

this beat,

this love game is sick.

It makes us pick

between loving ourselves

and feeling loved by you.

This girl

has played the game

and has lost every time.

Every rhyme,

every line I compose

is composed of spite

and a bitter regret

that I cannot get

to where I want to be

by just being me.

I have to grab attention

with a fucking curse

or a sexual rhyme.

This girl

is taking a stand

against all future commands

telling me to dress to impress.

I’m pressed for time,

but not without any sign

of hope or reason to believe

that I can achieve

all of my dreams,

including the dreams

that scream for a little love.

This love game is sick

and this girl,

she quits.

Someday, Somehow, I Will, by Giuliano Fabian

This Poem Isn’t About a House, by Travis Lilach

 You remind me
of this house.
A lazy, new-
modeled piece of shit.
With drafty windows
and cheap carpet.
It’s so ugly
and unloved.

It spent all its years
feeling sorry for itself.
Suitors came,
but always left.
They’ve realized you’re pretty
on the outside if maintained.
But the inside, it’s hollow and it’s gray.
Your heart is the carpet– yellow, stained

So I don’t care
if you decay.
Because I’m over you.
Your front door was loose anyway.

The Gambler, by Travis Lilach

        We were only seven when we sat next to a fire watching Casablanca.  We didn’t understand a single line, but we liked the black and white and we liked the end.  And when Bogie leaned in to a kiss with Ingrid, all you said, as if to the distant kissing gods, was, “I want that.”  And so I gave you everything I knew, and I pecked you on the cheek. 

            And you wanted adventure because you wanted to meet Indiana Jones.  And although I didn’t have a hat, whip or gun, I gave you all I had and held your hand in a playground full of cooties.  And they laughed at us, and we had to hide from our friends, but I held you crying on my shoulder and I reminded you that Indiana wasn’t always happy, but he always had an adventure.  And so we went on holding hands and smiling as they laughed. 

            And when you discovered boys, every boy but me, I found the boy you asked for, and I put you together.  And when he hurt your fragile heart, I gave you what you needed, my Indiana shoulder.  And although I never told you, I gave him what he needed, too, and he went home with an Indiana bruise. 

            Every winter I gave you exactly what you needed as I froze with no mittens, coat or hat.  We were barely 18 when I made sure you were the warmest girl in the state.  And when you asked me to dance, although I didn’t know a single step, I spent seven months learning.  Because you needed fun and I needed to give you everything I had. 

            And we were in our twenties when you wanted roses, and so I spent my savings, and I bought you a flower shop.  And you needed a ring to match your eyes, so I gave you everything you needed, and we were wed in a field of silly dreams.

            And we saw mommies and their babies, and you told me what you wanted, and I tried and tried and tried, but it ended in three years of nothing, and I couldn’t give you what you wanted.  The doctors said not to blame each other, and I held you on my shoulder, and you still blamed me.  And suddenly we did nothing but argue and I was confused and you weren’t sure what you wanted anymore.  I learned to eat in silence until the day you cried to me and filed those awful papers.

            You needed space, and so I moved to Wisconsin. 

            I had a beard that I didn’t really need, and you called me up and told me what you wanted and I sold my house and shaved my beard and jumped on a plane to find you.  We sat by that fire and you looked me up and down and told me what you needed, and it’s all I’d ever needed to hear.

            “I need you,” you said. 

            And I gave you everything I have.

A Place Like No Other, by Jamie Clifton

Beautiful deep blue therapeutic sea

Relaxes me

Very calm as whispers fly past my ear

I can hear the seductive secrets of the sea

Yearning to hear more

I stand quietly as the luke warm water eases my aches

As it splashes against my body

It gives me a moment of peace.

The smells in the air are fresh

Like the first bloom of petunias on a spring day

Never wanting the moment to end

I continue taking in my surroundings

The waves splashing so fiercely like a furious foe

I remain relaxed

With the warm gritty sand running between my toes

It all takes me back to a peaceful place

A place like no other

I‘m Here and I’m Listening By Dwayne Anthony Sparks

 I will never forget the day when my mother found the dead body of my little brother, Jeremy Santiago. It was the morning of Monday, December 25, 2000 in South Bronx, New York. I remember in detail every moment of the shocking revelation that followed, a revelation my fifteen-year-old mind was not prepared to handle. I had been sleeping soundlessly when suddenly I awakened to the sound of a horrifying, high- pitched scream that shook the walls of our two-story home. It was the voice of my mother, and she cried loudly: “My God! My God! My God! Oh, my God!” I rolled out of my bed and ran from my bedroom down our wooden spiral staircase to the sound of her desperate cry. What I saw next has changed and haunted my life for a very long time. I saw the teary, wet face of my mother, staring in disbelief towards something that invoked fear in her and caused her to shake violently. I took my last step down the stairs, turned around and looked up at the body of my brother hanging from the top staircase banister by a thin white telephone cord. His five feet and five inch frame floated four feet above our brightly colored and towering Christmas tree. My heart raced as I observed his limp body. The white cord was wrapped tightly around his elongated neck and his brown eyes stared helplessly at me as if they were silently saying “help me!” I suddenly gasped for air and uttered, “Jeremy!” I blacked out, and my body fell limp to the floor. “Jon-Jon! Wake up! Are you okay, son?”

I slowly came out of my temporary moment of darkness and saw my father standing above my body as two female paramedics were kneeling beside me. The woman to my right asked me, “Are you okay, young man?” I replied, “I’m fine. What happened?” My father answered, “You fainted.” The two women helped me to my feet. I looked around and saw two or three male police officers standing above my mother. They were asking questions as she sat distressed on the black leather sofa in the living room. I turned to my father on the right and hesitantly asked, “Where is Jeremy? Did he really . . . ?” My father nodded and cautiously replied “I’m sorry. Yes, he did. God have mercy on him. He took his own life.” Just then, two male paramedics lifted a black body bag onto an elevated stretcher and rolled it towards the front door of our home. Every moment of that day felt surreal, and it was as though I couldn’t escape from a horrible nightmare. The paramedics and police officers left our home around twelve thirty five that afternoon, and the mood of the house was somber, confusing, and appalling.

My mother sat on the black leather sofa sobbing silently onto my father’s black, knitted sweater. My father held my mother’s head against his left shoulder and spoke soft words of encouragement. “It’s going to be okay, Ann. God will give us strength to overcome this sorrow. This too shall pass. God will give us strength.” My father was the only one in the house who seemed composed and who wasn’t crying uncontrollably. I sat cross-legged next to the flashing lights of our Christmas tree. Endless streams of tears trickled down my face as I rocked my body back and forth against the bottom wall of the staircase. My eyes stared at the boxes of unwrapped presents under the tree for what seemed like an eternity. That day was supposed to be the happiest day of the year–in my life and Jeremy’s as well. We both had worked so hard in school to bring our grades up so we could get the new Playstation 2 game system that my father had promised us. I sat there on the fuzzy white carpet in confusion thinking, “Why did Jeremy do it?”

The funeral was held on Saturday morning, January 06, 2001, at our church, the First Pentecostal Church of New York. My father, mother, and I were in attendance along with other church members, friends, and family members. I sat in the front row of the church’s sanctuary, resting my head against my mother’s right shoulder, and my father sat on her left side with his right arm drooped around her neck. Jeremy’s body lay stretched out a few feet from us in a huge, shiny black and gold-trimmed casket. He was dressed in a black tuxedo jacket with black dress pants and a black tie. That was the first time in my life I had ever seen Jeremy dressed in a tuxedo. He had mentioned to me once before when we were kids that he didn’t like the way tuxedos looked. Our pastor led the funeral service with a thirty minute speech and a brief prayer, and he followed up with kind words of encouragement to our family.

After the funeral service, we headed to the graveyard to bury his body. My father, my mother, and I stood over Jeremy’s body for the final time. We offered our final farewell and prayer. The casket was closed, and his body was lowered slowly into the ground. I walked away feeling as though his soul was at peace, but I still felt troubled and unsettled. That night I had a disturbing and terrible dream. I dreamt that I was standing in the living room before Jeremy’s dangling body and was looking into his soulless brown eyes. The living room was dark except for the lights that flashed on and off on the Christmas tree. All of a sudden Jeremy came to life and began to speak repeatedly: “Jon-Jon, I need to talk to you!” I replied, “I’m here, J, and I’m listening.” Jeremy repeated those same words several times, and I replied, “I’m here, J, and I’m listening.” The dream ended, and I immediately woke in horror. I couldn’t help but think about the two weeks before Christmas when Jeremy approached me and asked, “Jon-Jon, do you have a moment? I need to talk to you about something.” “Not now Jeremy. I will talk to you later. I need to finish this essay for class and study for exams. I promise I will talk to you later. I promise J” “It’s fine. I won’t bother you anymore. ” Jeremy walked away silently, and I turned back to my computer to finish my essay.

As I sat up in bed, I started to feel remorse for my selfish actions that day when Jeremy had approached me. What was it he needed to tell me? If I had taken the time to stop what I was doing to talk with him, would he still be alive? These questions rushed through my mind as I wondered why he committed suicide. Did it have anything to do with his past before he came to our family? Jeremy came to our family on March 20, 1995. He was nine years old. My mother and father wanted to have another child, but they couldn’t because ovarian cancer had damaged my mother’s reproductive organs. The doctors told my mother that she would not be able to have children again. My father and mother went to an adoption agency. Two weeks later a short, light-skinned Dominican boy with curly black hair and brown eyes, dressed in a black, hooded sweat shirt and worn blue jeans, arrived at our home. He was immediately accepted with open arms and with love into our black family.

The week prior to his arrival, my parents had told me the news about my new brother and that I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore because I would have someone to play with. I was so excited and couldn’t wait for my new brother to arrive. That day I proudly walked through my neighborhood and boasted to my friends about the expected arrival of my new brother. “Guess what, Cory, Joseph, and Erick? I’m getting a new brother!” My friends were all excited and happy for me. I remember being happy all week long and feeling as though I were invincible. Nothing could deter my happiness. I was getting a new brother soon.

When Jeremy arrived, I was the first to approach him and extend my hands to welcome him into our home. “What’s up? My name is Jonathon Wilkins, but you can call me Jon-Jon!” My welcome was rejected as he quickly turned towards the social worker who brought him and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Excuse his manners. He’s just very shy at the moment and quiet. Once he gets used to you, he will open up. His name is Jeremy Luis Santiago, and he is nine years old. Jeremy, I have to go now. This is your new family. They will take good care of you.” Jeremy loosened his grip around her waist; he turned around and said, “Hi” in a low and timid voice. My father, followed by my mother, approached Jeremy and said, “Hey, there, little man. I’m James and this is my wife, Ann. You can call me James until you feel comfortable with calling me daddy. Welcome to our home. We are going to take very good care of you. You don’t have to be afraid. Jon-Jon, take Jeremy’s suitcase and show him to his room.”

It took Jeremy over a year to get used to our family and to start calling my mother and father Mamma and Daddy. Jeremy didn’t talk much. He was very shy, and he seemed withdrawn from us. One day I asked Jeremy if he wanted to play tag with me and my friends, but he replied coldly, “No!” I didn’t understand why he was so mean and didn’t want to play with me and my friends. I thought he didn’t like me. One summer evening, I was sitting on the floor in our bedroom playing our Nintendo 64, and I asked Jeremy if he wanted to play the game Star Fox64 with me. Once again he said no.

All of a sudden I lost my temper and became very angry. I shouted loudly, “You’re stupid! You’re so stupid! Why won’t you talk or play with me! What is wrong with you! “Jeremy gave me an evil gaze and screamed, “I don’t feel like playing your stupid game! Just leave me alone!” I immediately jumped to my feet and dashed out of our room and down the hallway to my mother’s room. I was extremely angry and my face was covered with tears. I shouted to my mother, “Momma! Momma! Jeremy doesn’t like me, and he said he didn’t want to play with me!” My mother tried to console me. “Jon-Jon, calm down. It’s going to be alright. Calm down now, son. He really doesn’t mean any harm by the way he is acting. Calm down.”

My mother began to explain the reasons for Jeremy’s behavior. “Jeremy has had a very rough life, and it will take him some time to get used to us and accept our love for him. When Jeremy was born, his mother died from complications of his birth and many people searched many weeks for a distant relative who could take care of him. None of Jeremy’s relatives were ever found, and the doctors gave up hope. He was placed in foster care. Before he came to our home, he had been through four different unstable and broken foster homes. He was taken from his last foster parents because his father used to beat him badly. That child is a lonely and hurting boy. We are going to do everything we can to make sure he feels loved and accepted by our family. Give it time, Jon-Jon. He will change. I want you to be patient and kind to him now. You understand?” “Yes, Momma, I understand.” “Now go back to your room and apologize to him. Okay?” “Yes, Momma.” From that moment forward after talking with my mother, I learned to be patient with Jeremy. I walked slowly down the hallway from my mother’s bedroom and headed back towards my room. When I entered, Jeremy was lying in his bed with his face down in a pillow. I quietly whispered his name, “Jeremy. Are you sleeping?” He harshly replied, “What!” “I just want to say that I’m sorry and if you ever need to talk to me about anything, I’m here to listen.” He replied, “Okay. Whatever.”

During the summer of 1998, Jeremy began to open up and socialize more. My friends became his friends and he allowed himself to be a kid. We spent most of our summer playing basketball at the local park and hanging out at our friends’ houses playing Playstation games. It pleased me more than anything that my little brother was beginning to enjoy life as a kid. Jeremy and I got really close that summer. We often spent late nights in our room discussing things like girls, our favorite foods, and stuff like what happens when we die. It was during one of those moments when Jeremy began to share some of the horrible things that happened to him before he came to our home. “Man, Jon-Jon, you just don’t know how lucky you are to have parents like yours. I have been through some terrible things in my life before I came to this family. None of the foster parents I had have ever treated me with as much love and care as our mother and father. My previous foster father used to beat me with extension cords. He would also beat my foster mother as well during his drunken rampages. He used to tell me that I was responsible for my biological mother’s death. He told me that I was a curse on this world, and I needed to die. For a very long time, I believed his words and accepted his beatings as a punishment for killing her. To this very day, I still feel responsible for my mother’s death. If I hadn’t been born, she would still be alive.”

“Jeremy, don’t say that. You are not responsible for her death. It was her time to go, and it was God’s will that you lived. Our father once told me that sometimes God allows us to go through terrible things in our lives and experience tragedies in order to build our character and make us stronger. Every person goes through different things in life that make them who they are as a person. It was God’s will that you came to our family, and I appreciate you being here. I always wanted a little brother.”

“Thanks Jon-Jon. I always wanted a big brother. I never got the chance to tell you this, but I’m sorry for the way I treated you during these past two years.”

“It’s cool, J. Momma already explained to me the reasons why you acted the way you did. I know you didn’t mean any harm. If you ever need anything or need to talk to someone, then look no further. I’m here, bro.” “Thanks Jon-Jon. I will take you up on that offer one day.”

Jeremy and I attended the same school. I always tried my best to be a very good big brother to him and protect him from anybody who tried to mess with him. I always took up for him and told him that if he ever had a problem with anyone then let me know and I would take care of it. Well, he took me up on that offer one day. I ended up fighting a kid at our high school who was in the eleventh grade and who was 5 feet 11 inches. I was 5 feet 9 inches, only two inches shorter than him. I landed a few punches into his face, and he countered with one punch to my nose that sent me flying onto the hard concrete sidewalk. Blood dripped from my nose down onto my white t-shirt. The fight only lasted thirty seconds. I got beat up in the end, but I still felt proud of myself because I stood up for my little brother.

It took me a very long time to get over Jeremy’s death. Life wasn’t the same without him. I missed him in moments like walking to school with him every morning and playing video games. I missed the stupid arguments we used to have over whose turn it was to take out the trash or wash the dishes. I realized how much I really missed him when I thought about those moments. His death caused me to enter into a short period of a deep depression. I struggled to overcome my grief. Every day of the week I cried. I would cry at home in my bedroom, at school in the bathroom, and any place I could escape to release my sorrow. It was very hard for me to understand why my little brother could be so selfish and do such a thing like that. When he took his life, I felt like he took a part of me with him. The depression caused me to withdraw from my social life with my friends and family. My parents tried to encourage me during my period of sadness and instill hope within me. I couldn’t find or even feel hope. It was very hard to be hopeful again when my life was absent of his presence. I just could not understand why he did it.

Jeremy was very talented at drawing. Everything he drew was very skillful and impressive. I had often complimented him on his drawings and encouraged him to think about pursing art as a career. “Dang, J! This drawing is nice. You are a very gifted and talented person. You should think about going to college to study art one day”

“Naw. I’m not that good. There are people who are more talented than me.”

“J, don’t speak like that. I hate it when you speak so negative about yourself like that. I’m telling you that this drawing is really good. You are just as talented as anyone else. I wish you would realize that you matter, and you have something to offer this world.”

Jeremy laughed. “You really believe that, Jon?”

“I’m dead serious and I mean it. I’m not joking. You are special and I hope you will see that one day.” “Yeah. I hope I do too.”

It had been over three months since Jeremy’s death when I received a phone call one Friday night that shook the foundation of my already unstable life. The phone rang around seven thirty while I was sitting up on Jeremy’s bed looking at some of his drawings in his sketch book. I let the phone ring about four times before I realized that mom and dad were not home, but out attending church service. I immediately jumped up and ran down the stairs to answer the cordless phone in the living room. I picked up the phone after the eighth ring and said hello.

A young girl on the other end replied, “Hello. Is this the Wilkins’ resident?”

“Yes it is. I’m Jonathon Wilkins. Who do you want to speak to?”

“You will do just fine. My name is Jasmine Mitchell and I think you knew my older sister, Tatiyanna Mitchell. She went to school with you and your brother. She was the girl who died in that terrible car accident last November.”

“Yeah. I think I had an English class with her. Yeah, I remember her.” I did not remember much about her except that she was the only girl who was pregnant in my ninth grade English class. She was also the quietest girl in class, and she usually sat in the back. I also remembered being shocked on the day when her death was announced over the school’s intercom. She had been only fourteen years old when she died, and I had heard that doctors were able to save her baby. I recall feeling sorry for her and thinking what a terribleway to die.

“Well, I don’t know if you knew this or not, but your brother, Jeremy, and my sister were dating and they were in love with each other. “

“Wait. Jeremy? My brother Jeremy? No. I think you have the wrong Jeremy. My brother did not have a girlfriend. My parents would not have allowed it because my father is a minister, and we are not allowed to date until we are eighteen. Besides, Jeremy would have told me if he had a girlfriend. Sorry, but you are mistaken.”

“I am very positive that your brother was the one who dated my sister. I have many pictures of them together. Your brother had brown eyes, curly black hair, and a small scar just above his left eyebrow that he received when he was punched in the face by his last foster father.”

When she mentioned the scar, I realized that she was talking about Jeremy because no one else knew about how he got that scar except me and my parents. “Okay, so why call now? What more do you need to tell me?”

“Tatiyanna and Jeremy had been dating each other ever since they were twelve. I’m the only one that knew about their relationship. They kept their relationship a very good secret, and they often would secretly meet each other in a park. Sometimes when our mother went to work at night, Jeremy would come over and spend the night at our house. He told my sister that your parents weren’t worried about him because he told them that he was spending the night at a friend’s house. Well, my sister became pregnant by Jeremy and after she found out, she told him. He was so excited to find out that he was going to be a father. My sister wanted to get an abortion. She knew that if our mother ever found out she would beat her. Jeremy convinced her not to get an abortion. He promised her that he would get a job and help her take care of the baby. Tatiyanna did a good job of concealing the pregnancy from our mother, but our mother finally found out six months into her pregnancy when she realized that she had become unusually fat. When questioned by our mother, Tatiyanna confessed. Our mother became extremely angry and slapped her in the face. She yelled at her and told Tatiyanna that the baby would go up for adoption after it was born because we could not afford to feed another mouth. Then one night, when Tatiyanna was seven months pregnant, she got into a heated argument with our mother about not wanting to give the baby up. Our mother told her if she didn’t want to follow the rules of the house she should get out. My sister took her advice and stormed out of the house in a rampage. That was the last time I ever saw my sister. We received the news of her death the next morning when two police officers came to our home. The officers told us that the doctors at Saint Luke’s hospital were able to save her baby.

“I know that this has all come as a shock to you, but your brother Jeremy Santiago has a son. His name is Jeremy Luis Santiago, Jr. Right now he is at Saint Luke’s hospital, and the doctors told my mother that since she doesn’t want the child, they have no other choice but to place him for adoption. I convinced a doctor to wait another week, and I told him that the father of the baby had relatives who did not know about his existence. I told him I would inform you and your parents about Jeremy’s son. Even though Jeremy is not living, I believe he would have wanted your family to take care of the baby.”

I sat there on the black leather sofa astonished by the revelation of Jeremy’s secret relationship and his son. This story was as shocking as Jeremy’s death. After the girl had finished her conversation, I told her that I would let my parents know about Jeremy’s son. She gave me her number and we ended the phone call. Why didn’t he tell me? I understood why he didn’t tell our parents, but I was his big brother, and brothers should be able to tell each other secrets. Perhaps, I wasn’t as close to him as I thought I had been. My parents returned home around nine thirty that night, and I told them about the phone call I had received from Jasmine. They were in total disbelief and told me that they would investigate the matter to see if it was true. If it was true, then they would save Jeremy’s son from being placed for adoption. After a DNA test proved that the baby was the son of my brother, the hospital released him into our custody. Jeremy junior looked just like my brother with the very same brown eyes and curly black hair. It was as though I was looking at my brother again for the very first time since his death. Little Jeremy was five months old, and I knew that God had spared his life for a reason. I promised God and my deceased brother Jeremy one night that I would do my best to take care of him.

It has been over seven years since Jeremy took his life. Not one day goes by that I do not think about his death. Every day of my life something small reminds me of him. The other night I was sitting at my desk browsing the internet, and little Jeremy, who is seven now, came to me and showed me a painting he had done in art class.

“Uncle Jon-Jon. Look. Look. Look what I painted in school today.”I couldn’t help but to smile and think about how much he reminded me of his father. My brother loved to draw and over time began to embrace his talent. He would often share his drawings with me. I have kept every drawing that my brother ever drew in my top dresser drawer. When I get lonely and need comforting, I pull his drawings out of my drawer and reminisce about the past. I often find myself thinking about how different life would be if Jeremy had lived and seen his son. He would be so proud of him. Every year on December 25th I visit the cemetery where Jeremy’s body rests. Sometimes I take little Jeremy with me to see his father’s resting place. Little Jeremy knows all about his father from the stories I have told him. I often find myself lying in the cold snow next to his tombstone while I cry and apologize to him for not taking the time to listen when he needed me the most. I always utter the same words several times, “I’m here J, and I’m listening.”