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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2011 - Vol. 8, Issue 1

"What He Had Lost"

written by

Todd Hanks

Living in a group home for the mentally ill,

he often wondered what it was he was looking for.

The young man had blood stains on his leather jacket,

scarred wrists and scared eyes.

Downtown there was a place he often went, where

wooden steps in a brick structure led to a deck.

The deck was hidden by cedar trees, and the brick

was lined with flowers and covered in graffiti.

The man would sit and think, wondering

again and again what it was that he had lost.


He learned from experience that the acidic power

of loneliness could carve a face from a cliff side.

After more than two decades he finally learned

to try and be nice. A few more years passed and he finally

found something that made him good enough to get by.

He felt satisfied with the company of a few friends, and

tranquility such as is found between the leaves of plants,

as cool as a shallow slumber in a concrete room,

as quiet as a playground for phantom infants.

Todd Hanks has worked as a creative writer and journalist for several small newspapers. His poems have appeared in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Tales of the Talisman, Night to Dawn, Beyond Centauri, and the Kansas City Star. His book of gothic poetry, which is beautifully illustrated, can be purchased at several computer locations by typing his name in the search engine and the title of his book, “Grave Bits”.

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