A poem, “Little Boo Boo Walks,” by Faith Bemiss, a local writer, poet and photographer, has been published in a academic textbook, “Methamphetamine a Multidisciplinary Approach to Solving the Problem,” Methodist University School of Public Affairs, Fayetteville, N.C.
The textbook was written by George E. Hendricks PhD, Carla J. Raineri Padilla, Eric S. See and David G. Pauly.
Dr. Hendricks, Dean of Graduate Studies at the university, met Bemiss at the National Mothers Against Methamphetamine (MAMa) Conference in Branson in 2011. During the conference, Bemiss, a local MAMa board member, read the poem, dealing with the devastating consequences and effects to children of parents with methamphetamine addiction.
Dr. Hendricks wanted to include the poem to raise awareness for social workers, teachers and community professionals in recognizing children being raised in a meth lab/addiction environment and how to help these children escape abuse.
Bemiss, also a board member of the local poetry organization Spofest, often writes poems depicting social issues such addiction, PTSD, alcoholism, veteran’s health care and child abuse.
Little Boo Boo Walks
Boo Boo walks, little toes bare through the morning grass,
no one knows she’s flown the coop.
Everyone just lets her pass.
Dew collects on her small bare feet,
but Boo Boo doesn’t mind she’s free to walk through the Easter grass
and smiling butter flowers.
She stops to etch her toes in the gravelly gravel,
making fun designs,
smelling the fresh morning breeze,
chubby rose checks flushing with the freedom of the winding road,
eyes blue as pastel robin’s eggs,
seeing deeper than anyone thinks.
Little Boo Boo walks through the grass for close to a mile,
no one sees Boo Boo pass,
she’s so small,
a chubby cherub dressed in clothes from the thrift-store mall.
She pads through the puddles of newly fallen rain,
and walks along the storm drain,
blonde curls creeping around her moistened face,
chubby hands pushing them out of place.
Until she reaches the city street, buzzing with cars and trucks,
and big yellow school buses all busy to get someplace.
Now little Boo Boo stands at the intersection of her life,
she pauses and lifts a pensive finger to her lips,
blue eyes scanning the busy scene,
taking in the surge of life, little Boo Boo standing sight unseen,
in the world of big adults she’s not noticed in her pink thrift suit.
Back at home the house is abuzz,
with the frantic activity of it’s members,
measuring and stirring and talking and tweaking and moving and calculating money in their heads.
(Everyone’s been awake for weeks, moving endlessly in a crystal daze.)
Frantic, not of the missing Boo Boo, but of scoring the next sell and the next fix
the next never coming down off the ultimate high,
seeing visions, never eating, building a tower and tearing it down.
Boo Boo’s daddy, that lusty pirate, whose ship crashed in the chemical sea,
laughs real hearty with his-comrades-in-arms,
“This batch is the best ever, just wait and see!”
Tattooed with skulls and death,
he lefts his fist to heaven saluting the demon gods of ice and flames.
But who is this lusty pirate? Someone’s son who lost his way…
A boy who set sail way to soon, one that used to play baseball, and skate on the lagoon.
The boy who sang the strains of Ava Maria, but replaced it with a death metal growl.
He loved to help in mama’s kitchen, but now cooks his own speedy stew,
it’s worth money too.
Boo Boo was his life’s blood,
his special angel, the savior of his soul,
the one that would help him escape the demon dungeon,
he’d built as his fate,
and when she was born he vowed to never let her down,
but that crystal sea came calling, wooing with it’s lust,
His will power was lost,
so into it’s deceiving light he drew,
leaving Boo Boo as an after thought,
the only one who could guide him through.
Now Boo Boo’s standing at the intersection of her life,
she takes a step into the traffic seeking the other side,
where the flowers are blooming and a puppy barks
where the side walk travels on up the grassy knoll.
And as her pensive blue eyes look toward the horizon,
all the cars have come to a complete stop,
shock written across each occupant’s face,
each sits motionless as a tiny,
curly haired, welfare angel toddles across the asphalt,
bare footed, her pink outfit wet from the morning dew.
Then as Boo Boo reaches mid-stride,
a terrific explosion lights up the morning sky,
flames and smoke lap the spring air,
devouring the home that Boo Boo shared
with that lusty pirate, the apple of her eye,
the tattooed daddy who loved her once,
before the ice froze him to a flame.
Little Boo Boo walks across the now quiet street
to the distant wail of fire trucks and police,
placing each foot step into a new destiny,
a homeless child,
looking for her daddy,
will she ever know the man he was supposed to be?
–By Faith Bemiss