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The Snow Bled Red

a red-haired kid sat alone in his room
slasher film sound as loud as it gets
while his parents slashed each other in the kitchen
with sarcastic slurs and threats
he watched the young victim be torn apart
wondered what it's like to die
but most
what it's like to kill
he felt the crash of glass
the slasher slashed
the knife came through the screen
he heard the owls of winter
asking what they always do
and he was asking too

she keeps the window open in her young son's room
in the dead of winter, waiting
to hear his footsteps crunching in the snow
while she bakes his favorite cookies
hoping the smell of chocolate chips
will find him in the frigid frozen air
and lead him home
she smokes two packs of cigarettes a day
pacing while she drains the coffee pot
on christmas she cooks a feast
and sets his place at the table-
she stares at it while she eats
with all the windows open
she hears the owls of winter asking what they always do
but she is asking where are you
when she asks why
the coyotes without moonlight cry

someone in town killed some cats
their broken bodies bled red in the snow
the springtime brings unusual things
a splintered bat lays in the field
where kids play ball
and then they find him
she can only kiss his eyelids
the skin that held the soul has slipped
his blood had spread beside him
like the melting wings of a crimson butterfly
knocked to the ground

the red-haired kid is serving life
his hair is turning grey
when she forgave in court in front of everyone
she felt her son's hand on her shoulder
she still opens the windows, and the door
but she doesn't bake any cookies anymore

for shawn oluillette and his mom, and for all the red-haired kids

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Explicit Content


Please let the stereotype die.

what stereotype? for all the red-headed kids is not to be taken literally as only meaning kids with red-hair. this is a true story. with poetic devices added. the kid had red hair. i am not aware of any stereotypes about red heads. for all the red-headed kids means for all the kids whose parents abuse and or neglect them as in the case of this kid. everyone who has seen this has seen that it is meant to explain why this red-haired kid was also a victim. don't you get that? in no way does this poem indicate that anyone with red hair is more likely to do something bad. this is a psychological poem. i am sorry you did not understand it

author comment

If the imagry you used was any stronger, it would leave a blood trail. Wow, upon reading it, I was really engaged with the images I saw. I’d think this piece would be a good one for a psychotherapy professional sort of publication. I wonder if the general public is ready for it,

The sort of clients you work with must be real challenges to assist in healing from such woulnds.

I like the stanzas you grouped the lines into, and the thoughts within the groupings. Seems that you couldn’t have done this in a shorter form…. So much to say in this piece.

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thaks for reading. actually it was for a challenge in a critique group i am in to write showing an emotion. i am showing several, including the rage finally ready to surface in her. i majored in psychology and spent my career before i retired working with vulnerable populations but i am not a therapist in that way. this poem was inspired by a 2016 dr. phil show called she's not hot enough. a real couple. many of the things i included are true but not all. she was not having any dreams. "never let the truth stand in the way of a good poem". she was exhausted mentally and wrote dr. phil. her husband agreed to go on the show with her. this is where i learned about how he treated her. at the end he agreed to go with her so they could both get counseling. i was amazed that this jerk agreed. i would have kicked his ass out long ago. i don't know if they ended up together or not. if the counseling helped him or not. if not, i hope it helped her enough that she let her dust hit him in the face. ignore this. i am tired and was responding to the wrong poem. i have edited it twice and removed my comment but it won't go away. i got the idea for this from a tv true crime show.

author comment
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