Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eight Years Ago Today. . .

Eight years ago today, we had the fire in our house that killed my brother, Clarence, Rachel's cat, 'Lil Ben, and our cat, Cougar. A few months later I had to do a poetry project for my English class. I made a book, of six poems I wrote about those who died in the fire.

The first three were written the night of the fire. While the others were written when I was trying to come up with what I'd do for my poetry project.

Clarence Ray Atwood
Birth: June 4, 1983
Salt Lake City, UT
Death: November 7, 2002
Bismarck, ND
He said,
He was not sure
About going on a mission.
Then was the day He left us,
And went
On his mission.
We may not see him
For many years to come.
To some,
He is dead,
But to us,
He's just away
For a while,
Until that day,
When we will see him again.

Cougar Atwood
Birth: March 26, 1989
Bismarck, ND
Death: November 7, 2002
Bismarck, ND

That was the day,
The day he was waiting for.
He had a good long life.
He was on medication
For many years.
The last few years,
He had growled
Anytime he moved
Or was moved.
The reason was
That his body hurt;
I thought
He had arthritis.
Now, his pain is gone!
He no longer has arthritis;
He had a full life.
We might see him again,

'Lil Ben Atwood
Birth: November 9, 2000
Las Vegas, NV
Death: November 7, 2002
Bismarck, ND

Ben had a very unfair disadvantage.
He died that day,
All because of a dryer
Catching on fire.
For Cougar,
It was different.
He lived a long life,
While Ben lived
For less than 2 years.
Rachel will miss him,
And so will we.
We shall miss them all.
One of the greatest things
He had
Was Rachel,
And her love for him.


He left.
He left that day,
And my life will never be the same,
The world will never be the same again.
He's gone:
The one who ate grass at times,
Who lay down or sat in his litter box,
Who would get mad,
Whenever, he saw Rachel's 'lil guy.
He's the one who slept on my pillow,
The last few months He was here.

He died.
He died that day.
He was old. . .
Thirteen in always old for them,
While Rachel's 'lil guy was almost two,
It doesn't seem fair
That Rachel's 'lil guy went with him too.
He died:
The one who jumped on my neck
When I was three,
Before Rachel's 'lil guy ever lived,
Or before, SHE was born.

He's dead.
He was dead that day,
And all we have left
Are the pictures and memories.
He's gone:
The one who often hit HER
With His little soar paws,
And rubbed them over the bald spots on His head.
And He who attacked Rachel's 'lil guy,
And practically growled at him,
Anytime He saw him.

He's gone.
He was gone that day,
And SHE's still here with us.
Although, He left with Rachel's 'lil guy
And the boy.
He died:
He who was my favorite cat,
Who attacked Rachel's 'lil guy,
Rachel's 'lil cat, 'Lil Ben,
Who attacked HER,
Our only dog,
Our dog, Sugar.

He died.
He died that day,
The cat who slept a lot.
The cat who
Who felt like his space was being invaded,
That we didn't care
For Him as much
As we used to.
He's dead:
The one who ached,
Who ached all over
The last few years of His life:
Personally, I thought He had arthritis.
The cat who
Who felt like Sugar was invading Him
And 'Lil Ben, too.
The cat who died,
From breathing unclean air,
Caused by the accident,
That killed
The boy, my brother, Clarence,
And the kitten, Rachel's 'lil guy, 'Lil Ben,
And the cat, my favorite cat, Cougar.

What's Going On?

I had no idea,
No idea what was going on.
I was confused,
Confused about the situation.
I woke up,
And something was wrong,
I wasn't sure
What it was.

I tried
Tried to wake him,
It was no use,
No use at all.
He was sound asleep.
I jumped on him,
It didn't help.

I left his room.
In the room next to his,
There was a bright,
Very bright, Thing,
I felt heat coming from it,
And a black fog of some sort,
A fog that hurt my eyes.

I started up,
Up the stairs.
I knew something was wrong,
Very wrong.
I needed to find,
To find help.
Why didn't Clarence wake up,
When I jumped on him?
There has to be someone,
Someone around here
That can help.

I searched for someone,
Anyone who could help him.
It was very hard to see
Through the black stuff,
As I was moving through the house.
I went into the room,
The room that Cougar often went to.
Cougar was there,
There, on that pillow,
The pillow he usually sleeps on.
He was sleeping,
Sleeping very happily.
But Elizabeth wasn't there,
Where was she?

I saw Sara,
Sara asleep in her bed,
The bed she often took me to,
The bed I liked,
Because it had a window.
Oh, how I love to look,
To look out windows.
I jumped on her.
She didn't wake up.
I jumped on her again.
She still didn't wake up.
What's going on?
Why won't she wake up, either?
Since, I couldn't wake her up,
I decided that,
That I needed to find someone else,
Someone else to help him.

I went into the room,
The room with the big, flat surfaces
Held up by wooden sticks.
There, I saw him, I saw Ben,
The one that Rachel brought.
Oh, how I love Rachel,
She comforted me,
My first night here,
When I was all alone,
All alone and crying.

He was awake,
Unlike Clarence, Sara, and Cougar.
I went back downstairs to see,
To see if I could wake him up.
I saw that the big, hot thing
Had gotten bigger,
And I still couldn't wake him up.

I headed back up the stairs,
I couldn't see anything,
Nothing at all,
The black stuff
Was too thick.
My eyes hurt,
They hurt really bad.

Then, I saw some people,
Some people I had never,
Never seen before,
Entering the house,
Coming through the door,
So, I darted outside,
I had to find help!

I ran out in the backyard,
I saw the gate open,
I knew I wasn't supposed to,
Supposed to leave the backyard,
But this was an emergency!

I ran across the street,
Up to the corner,
I went down that block,
I decided,
Decided to see
If anyone could help.
I turned onto the next side,
Next side of that block. I ran down that block,
Then, down the next,
Only searching,
For help.

I saw someone,
Someone that seemed familiar,
He stuck me in his yard,
I didn't want to be in his yard,
So, I looked for a way out,
And I found it.
So, he took me back,
Back to my house.
I saw Rachel's friends,
Heather and Erin,
They took me from him,
Then, I figured that I've found help!

I tried,
Tried to take them
To Clarence,
To help him.
But they pulled me,
Pulled me in the opposite direction,
And put me in that,
In that kind of thing,
The thing that my family
Had put me in before,
Whenever we went away,
Away for a week or so.

It was the thing,
The thing that moved.
Looking out the window of it
Was so fascinating,
Much more fascinating than
The windows at our house.
I always felt tortured
When they were all outside,
Stuffing things in it and on it,
Leaving me stuck inside.
Of course, they never left left me behind,
Like they did to Cougar every year.

Rachel's friends
Took me to a place,
A place I had never seen before,
And they left me there.
That night, I saw Her,
I saw Rachel again!
I was so excited!
She had been away
For several months,
Someone in my family is alright!
The next day,
I saw Elizabeth
And Becky,
Becky, who I hadn't seen since,
Since July,
When she came,
Came to see me!

Rachel, Becky, and Elizabeth came,
Came to see me everyday
(Rachel and Becky 3 times a day).
But no other family members:
No Clarence,
No Sara,
No Mom or Dad.
Where were they?
Did something bad happen to them?

Mom came
With Rachel, Becky, and Elizabeth,
And took me to that place
But Dad was there!
They put me on a table
And the weird guy examined me.
A couple weeks after,
After I had seen Clarence last,
I saw Mom and Sara!
But where's Clarence?
Later that day,
I saw Sara, Elizabeth, Mom, and Dad!
But no Clarence.
He's supposed to be here too!

Did something bad happen to him?
Where did he go?
How is a dog, like me, to know?
How can I, Sugar,
Just an ordinary dog, know?
Will I ever see him again?

Rachel's 'Lil Friend

He was Rachel's friend:
Rachel's 'Lil Friend.
But He left,
He left her,
Left her without saying,
Without saying anything,
Without saying, “Goodbye.”

She was away,
Away at school.
She had no chance,
No opportunity,
To say, “Goodbye,”
Or even to see Him one last time,
Before He went away,
Far away,
Far enough
To be out of reach from Rachel,
From Rachel's eyes and ears,
But not out of her mind,
Never out of her mind.

He left,
Left this world,
This world as we know it.
And she loved Him,
Loved Him so much,
And I'm sure he loved her too.
He was not even two,
And He died,
He died.
And He was her 'lil guy,
Her 'lil cat: 'Lil Ben.
He left,
Left with her brother and mine,
Our brother, Clarence;
And the cat: My favorite cat, Cougar.
'Lil Ben may be gone,
But His memory
Will always live on,
In her heart
And in her mind.