"The Tornado Inside of Me"

"The Tornado Inside of Me" I was two men, living two lives, but had only one heart and two eyes. I was torn, ripped by confliction, by the path I want to take and the path of my addiction. And over time these two paths have crossed, ending with one man totally lost. I'm no longer sure of whom I am or how I've come to be, or if whom I see in the mirror is what other people see. I feel tainted, like the stain on a new shirt, because I'm unclear of my values and uncertain of my worth. It's like I've been caught in a tornado and swept off my feet, and I'm flailing my arms trying to grasp anything concrete. Yet, everything I grab is ripped up and starts to spin, becoming debris in the tornado of my addiction. The aftermath is gruesome, and the casualties are high, because my tornado took everyone by surprise. I stand in shock as I finally see, my destructive path has led to catastrophe. I've severed relationships and broken ties, burned bridges and told so many lies. Now I'm left alone in my tornados wake, cleaning up the debris of my mistakes. Scattered remains pepper the ground of a man once happy and proud. All that's left is a gutted frame, of a man once proud, but is now riddled with shame. I don't know what to do or how to proceed with, how to build a man out of what's left of me. All I can do is start the process all over, while in the meantime try to remain sober. FEMA can't help me, I need not apply, because my addiction doesn't qualify. I am a man left with knowing the fact, that at any moment my tornado might come back. I never know when my tornado will strike, and that scares me so much, I can't sleep at night. So batten your shutters and lock your doors, because i just don't want to hurt anybody anymore. The collateral damage has been great, and It's just too much for me to take. So I stand alone in a field with no one around, expecting at any moment my tornado might touch down. Because I would hate for you to become debris, within the tornado that dwells inside of me.

About this poem

I wrote this poem while incarcerated. It was one of the darkest times of my life. In 2021 138000 people in the United States died from opioid/Fentanyl overdoses. To put this in perspective, in 1990 (at the height of the Crack Cocaine epidemic) there were 3600 lethal overdoses in the U.S. I am one of the lucky few who survived, and I have a story to tell.

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Written on March 22, 2021

Submitted by diversdoitdeeper1984 on October 27, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:02 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme A
Characters 2,012
Words 391
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 1

Jefferson Barber

Born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida. I enlisted into the Army on September 11th, 2001. After the ARMY I became a commercial diver doing Underwater Bridge Inspection for 7 years, until one faitful day a semi truck tire crashed through my windshield. My life hasn't been the same since. more…

All Jefferson Barber poems | Jefferson Barber Books

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