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Sample Poems by Charles K. Carter


As caterpillars feed on milkweed, a child feeds on knowledge,
feeds on scripture; takes it all in like a Polaroid picture,
imitating the best, preach love but please keep it in your chest,
don't give illegals any food, protecting yours isn't rude,
worship no god but the almighty dollar, the whore's hollers
as you pound her in the backseat of your shiny red Corvette
you bought to show off to your pitiful lower-class neighbor,
a child metabolizes this hypocrisy and they fall
in or out of favor in a system where we don't question,
we nod, agree or fall through the cracks of the oligarchy
a freak who once wanted to be equal but won't play the game
a child who wants to do more than act the same, merely survive,
a child who had so much potential until he dared to ask why.

Small Town Hideaways

The muddy creek behind the drug-
store where the freckled girl with round
glasses who looked like a boy tried hard
to kiss me.

The bright orange box car at the old
depot where I would sneak away
with my middle school friends for our first

The back corner of the park 'cross
the old rickety wood bridge where
the older kids would go to make out
and smoke pot.

The out-of-service railroad tracks

at the edge of town where he and
I went to compare, where he left me

I Loved You Like Surge Soda

I loved you like Surge soda, you be sticky sweet on my tongue,
lemon and lime no longer sour but artificially sweet.
Your sugar wax lips knocked me off my feet.

I loved you like Surge soda, sticky sweet on your breath,
fingers marked from the pop tab top.
Out of sight tree house adventures, don't stop.

I loved you like Surge soda, you be sticky sweet on the outside,
on the inside, a dark mystery hidden deep.
I thought that mystery was the same secret I was trying to keep.

I loved you like Surge soda, sickly sweet, it be rotting my teeth,
it be rotten to the core
like when you said you could call me but I wasn't allowed to call you no more.

I loved you like Surge soda, sickly sweet, it be killing my kidneys.
Once you tasted my saltiness, your macho shook in fear.
Now I'm no longer welcome near:

I can't sit at your lunch table nor ride bikes with you.
I'm not allowed to join the gang when they trade Pok'emon cards too.
When they stopped making Surge, I thought I would finally get over you.