Near Death

By my count,
I have nearly died
Three times.

My first escape
Came behind the wheel
Of a twirling car.

My second triumph
Came by evading a
Misguided hand.

The last victory
Came by outlasting
An eruption from within.

During the first two,
I was unable to
Grasp the significance.

The last event
Though, was much,
Much different.

My soul wept
And saw the dimming
Light of my existence.

Then I realized, there is
Nothing  more sad than
That which is left undone.

From that day on,
I knew I must finish
Everything I’d left for the future.

The question,
However,
Was how?

by Cody McCullough

The People’s Tribune

Centuries ago,
The voice of the people
Was finally heard.

The People’s Tribune
Spoke loudly
On their side.

Over time, though,
This voice grew dim,
Then silent.

Many years later,
We the people
Resurrected the voice.

Now, though,
The voice grows dim,
And discordant.

So it is, that we the people
Must strain to hear
Only a murmur.

by Cody McCullough

Monotheistic Sunrise

For years, gods filled the night sky
Jupiter, Neptune, and others shone bright for the ancients.
They softly whispered when it was time to plant,
Time to harvest, and time to prepare for winter.

Over time, though, the whispers began to fade.
It was no longer time to quietly listen.
In the land of the bright sun
A new god arose.

Powerful, the new god would become,
His worshipers followed the sky to a new land.
While others stayed behind with a disc.
Eventually, the gods of the night faded completely.

Today, the night is full of stars and wonder.
The whispers of the night have been silenced.
During the day, however, the sun shines bright
And the new god quietly whispers…

by Cody McCullough

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Statue of Akhenaten photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Losing an Extended Family

When my parents divorced,
My extended family became two.

I was still a part of both,
But on separate occasions.

When my stepfather left,
I lost his extended family permanently.

I never heard from them again.
I can only imagine, I never will.

Losing a family isn’t painful.
It does hurt, though.

And I can only imagine,
It always will.

by Cody McCullough

Fly Away

I’ve always wanted to fly.
As long as I can remember,
I’ve done it in my dreams.

Often it would begin in the backyard.
First I would float up,
Then I would sit in a great big pine tree.

Eventually, though, I would have to see,
Just how high the power could take me.
So, away I would fly.

Before I could touch the sky, though,
It always would happen.
I’d look down and see how far I had come.

Below, the world would look so small and distant.
Then my spirits would sink,
And fear would creep in, and I’d have to go back.

I’ve always wanted to fly.
As long as I can remember,
I’ve done it in my dreams.

by Cody McCullough

Children, Where Have You Gone?

I was there when each of you were born,
Each day, among the  happiest of my life.
Now, I sit here alone,
And ask myself: “Children, where have you gone?”

Years ago, I learned the undeniable truth,
That torn our family apart.
I did not see, but I heard.
Now I am left to ask, “Children, where have you gone?”

I came to visit many times,
But each time no one greeted me.
The house was always empty,
And I was left to ask the question: “Children, where have you gone?”

Now I am old, and a sickness has taken my mind,
I don’t make new memories very well,
But the past, I remember all too well,
Which is why I ask, “Children, where have you gone?”

As I sit alone in this unfamiliar room,
I know it’s too late,
The sickness has taken my ability to communicate,
There’s no way to ask my question: “Children, where have you gone?”

All of these years I have asked it,
And only now, do I wish it had been aloud.
Perhaps, if I’d told you what I’d heard,
You would understand why I was left to ask: “Children, where have you gone?”

by Cody McCullough

Dad, Where Have You Gone?

A good guy, a hard worker,
Someone you’d want to swap stories with,
These are all words that I have heard to describe my father.
But, I have just one question for you Dad: “Where have you gone?”

I was just two, maybe three, when you left.
My brothers were older and perhaps they understood.
Even if they did, they didn’t tell me.  I was much too young.
So, I was left to ask, “Dad, where have you gone?”

My question never was answered.
I have heard many opinions,
But they’re all speculative, and lacking the one thing needed most,
An answer to the question: “Dad, where have you gone?”

Now I am all grown-up,
And I am older than you when you left.
I look at my children and I know,
They will never have to ask, “Dad, where have you gone?”

As I sit here with you now,
I know it’s too late,
The sickness has taken your mind,
There’s no way you can answer my question: “Dad, where have you gone?”

All of these years I have asked it,
And only now, do I wish it had been aloud.
Your blank stare tells me that my chance has passed,
And I’ll never hear the answer to my question: “Dad, where have you gone?”

by Cody McCullough

Mother’s Soup

Of all the meals my mother ever made,
Her soups are the ones I remember most.

Tomato soup with Bacon Bits
And split-pea with ham, were my favorites.

Peculiar tastes for a little one,
I know, but mom made them just right.

Oh, I almost forgot some more:
Chicken and dumplings with homemade bread,

And then there was broccoli cheddar,
And the staples like beef stew.

There were also experiments,
Like sausage and beer soup with cornbread.

Regardless of the flavor, one thing was always certain,
Nothing brought warmth to my heart, like a bowl of mom’s soup.

by Cody McCullough