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2001 to 2019

Ever since I can remember, August to December
Back in middle school I wasn’t that cool.
Not tryin’ to be, sittin’ back quietly while the whole world goes; violently
Eyin’ me, don’t know if I’m supposed to be in the same rank; I think
Stupid is what stupid does, that’s what I thought my brain was
Back in my room! Watchin’ cartoons!
No hesitation as I tried to be patient without a lick, fights went off without a hitch!
Don’t get me started on the what ifs!
If I went then that’ll been it!
Fights in school, breakin’ all the rules, now my ass would’ve been in trouble
By some other kid’s deception all because I wanted to watch
Back to the same spot, same ol’ thing when the bell rings!
Kids on my ass! Gotta think fast! No luck until someone showed up!
She always had my back! I can still remember that!
Days turned gray. I had nothing left to say. Couldn’t even cry, what else am I?
Just another weakling who sees things; Panic! I can’t even stand it!
03’ should’ve been the end of me; a belt around my neck; listenin’ to steps.
I took it off as my mother walks in; “what are you doing in the dark?” She said as I scoff
This is where it all begins
Do I have any friends? Or is this just pretend?
A huge mistake went without a trace
I buried it alive thinkin’ that I’m alright.
9th grade was the day I found a new pace, so I thought.
Holding back my thoughts as I internally block. “Be nice. Think twice.” as I internally rott. Dead on the inside?
305 was the place that I reside in the states and still no tears. What my luck. I don’t even give a f*ck! But I do! But not towards you!
Stay steady! Emotions getting heavy! High school! You’re almost through.
Everything starts to transform, am I really out of the norm? It doesn’t even matter.
I went to college after. I got my degree but I knew there was nothing there for me.
I knew that was comin,’ economy nose’s was runnin.’
So I got a regular job, payin’ rent over my expense, forcin’ myself not to beg, hopin’ I would starve myself to death. Tryin’ not to sob. My mother helped me out a lot. Passed a few bucks but still didn’t feel worthy enough.
I had to think like a man just so I can stand on my own two. “Look at you. You’ve should of done it. Now you’re nothin.” 2012! Do I have to go over the details? Drivin’ my toyota
Would of been over! Talkin’ to my best friend...my emotions stretched thin. Went back to the house where I had to pay rent to see if I can find another way, again. Went place to place. Unemployed; quiet all the noise. How can I stop the mold inside my soul from takin’ over?
Just do what you always do and ignore! Pour every effort into your work! Stupid!
You about to lose it! “Soul suckin’ loser that you are! You made this far but it won’t last. I’ll probably have the last laugh.”
Let me see under my teeth to grab every energy left in me to believe that little ol’ me can be “Kareem” that I thought I be.
I tried my best not to scream. Suck it up and keep walkin’ or people may think you’re crazy!
“That’s what they always thought. You might as well keep up the charade.” “I’m Ok.”
Year after year and still no tears when I wanted it to appear.
“Hold it all in till the end! You might finish what you started.”
Next day on my birthday would’ve been the end
But I didn’t. A car payment that I hated ever since my accident sent me back!
“You don’t know how to act. You so sorry! You don’t even have the back bone to make it back home.”
“Shut up!” “Get mad! Implode! Swallow every pain! Let me take your place! I’ll splatter your brain! Let you hang in one place without a trace!”
“Shut it!” “You can’t do nothin’ to me, Kareem! I’m always with you in public.”
“What is wrong with me!?” “Go ahead and scream! Let me eliminate your fate! And we both can go away, I’ll even pick the date!”
“Time is here to stay but you ain’t. No, Kareem! This is not a phase! I’ll take away the pain. How many times do you have to change the way you see life? I can make it right! Pipe down! You’re just a clown. I’ve known you since the 6th grade! It’s not a phase! I bathe in your misery! Positivity is for those who don’t know any better. I’ll grind your mind like a shredder! God who? Who gets to choose? Not you! Don’t try to prove to me that you can be happy! This gift you got just became nothin’ but work. Now you feel hurt!? For what it’s worth. I just need you to go off the edge and don’t you dare beg. Nihilism? Oh! Dead inside! Can you kill him? You’re still a loser tryin’ to hard to hold on to the future! Time is not your friend. Let me choose for you, again. Look...I made you a noose. Not to tight. Not to loose. After work. We both can hang at the end of the bridge. So, what now friend?”
The Police came. Examined my brain. Now I feel estranged. Don’t know who I am anymore. Time to shut the doors. Behind the medics. I feel so pathetic. Behind these walls are my downfall. I believed what I said. It was all in my head and yet I dread my own self before I got the help!
Nothin’ inside my mind. Somehow I feel fine. It doesn’t matter the down time. The residue is still there but it’s all clear. I feared what I feared and yet I’m still here. The future is unclear.
Until then. Every time is still spent.

About this poem

A timeline of my lowest points in life from 2001 to 2019. From Middle School as a kid to an adult in my late 20s.

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Written on May 06, 2021

Submitted by kareem710 on February 01, 2022

5:24 min read

Kareem Caldwell

Born and raised in Miami, FL in the United States. I had the poetry bug bite back in 2006 around Feb of Black History month in high school. more…

All Kareem Caldwell poems | Kareem Caldwell Books

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    "2001 to 2019" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 4 Oct. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/118956/2001-to-2019>.

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