12-Step Death Sentence by Michael Marrotti

I am not a silent poet

If I can help

one life

it’s worth

the time

At least

that’s what

I used to tell




this year though

New faces

keep showing up

for help

at alarming rates

All the old


are still clinging on

to the program


is a long road

rarely passed

I’ve never known

this many

dead people


in my life

It seems like

they pass away

on a weekly basis

my consciousness

is embedded

with their names

and faces

I come here

on my own


to make

a difference


my time

for the betterment

of the homeless

A year ago

I was eager

to show up

each week


It was different

back then

before the

constant influx

of new faces

overdoses and faith

rendered insufficient

I’d leave

with a feeling

of fulfilment

knowing I

made a difference


when I leave


takes over…

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