Three Times

three times and I’ll never go again


do you remember that little park playground we played on as kids?

with the matching pair of swings, the rusted red jungle gym and rickety slide?

it’s gone


buried under a three bedroom, two bath ranch house

owned  by the Charles family

little Wally plays in the air-conditioned den in front of the seventy inch plasma screen and above a decades old sandbox

and I’ve only been there three times, and I’ll never go again


I would rip down an entire city of ordinary people living their day to day lives

to ride those swings again

to climb that rusted tower

to slide down that slide

to sit for days in that little sandbox, pushing my grains of sand and holding out for eternity


because I’ve only been there three times, and I’ll never go again



Never Came Back

rust-ridden city of ghosts


lightning bolt flashes through old concrete with cold steel under ancient caged lights

“C.C. Eadens – Lab Supervisor” in lead paint, chipping off piece by piece

he left his lab reports on his last day here

and never came back


he left his door open

he left his ink pen on the desk

he left through the main guard shack and went to work at Dupont Mechanical Works in Cleveland, Ohio

and never came back


but something was left behind

something less tangible than

“High Pressure Combustion Rates”

something you feel when you look at a corpse in a funeral home for too long

something you feel when you see that “missing child” picture from the sixties on your Dean’s milk carton

something I can’t quite express

something I can’t see past the black mold and asbestos stains

under the years of ivy


I felt a chill, a cold wind, a shrinking sun

and I never came back




Note: These poems were inspired by the same ammunition factory that inspired the short story, Powder All Over.

Posted by Wes Laudeman

Writer, hiker, and future teacher, I'm looking for stories and adventures that will last a lifetime.

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