Poem Hunter
Wonder Boy
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Wonder Boy

He was our wonderboy,
He was invincible,
Nothing could touch him.
Not Shawn.

Not Shawn with his beautifully spun lies
That he never truly expected us to believe,
Though we did.

Not Shawn
Who always got us in and out of trouble
With his quick temper, and silver smooth tongue.

Not Shawn
Who was loyal to a fault,
Hated authority with a passion
The only one of us to ever truly dance across that invisible line.

Not Shawn
Who could make a deal with the devil and come out unscathed.

Not Shawn
Innocent and scarred at the same time.

Not Shawn
Who’d brag about his wild weekends,
And never inhaled off a cigarette.

Not Shawn
The boy who fancied himself a player,
Who was so caught up with Amanda he didn’t know which way was up.

Not Shawn, we said.
Not Shawn
All he’d have to do was spare a few words, for Jesus, or Lucifer.
He’d get them to send him right back here with us.

Not Shawn, we said,
Crowding around the pipe
In that dark, abandoned park,
Doing everything we could to forget.

Not Shawn.
Someone says
'I bet Shawn is up there doing the same thing;
Packing the bong with Jesus.
Just like that one song,
Just like that.
If anyone could do it, it would be Shawn.'

Wasn’t he our wonderboy?
Wasn’t he invincible?

Not Shawn.
There had to be a mistake.
Could he hear us up in heaven?
Was he laughing and crying at the same time like us?

Not Shawn

So full of life,
So beautiful in all his awkward teenage glory.
It had to be a lie;
It was another one of Shawn’s stories, a prank-that had to be it.
Never mind that all Shawn had lied about before was distant, trivial;
That he would never hurt us.
Nothing could hurt like this.
He was our wonderboy.

We cry that it isn’t fair.
'How can this happen? '
One of my brothers screaming to the sky.
I can hear the tears underneath the rage,
But he doesn’t let them fall.
He never lets them fall.

Not Shawn, we say
He can’t be…

He will forever be our wonderboy

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Langston Hughes


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