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John DeDakis

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Books by John DeDakis
  Garbage Day
by John DeDakis
Monday, September 12, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by John DeDakis
•  Metro Girl
•  Cemetery at Sunset
•  Of Frosted Flakes and Southern Comfort
•  Half Our Lives Ago
           >> View all 5

Cleaning up after a funeral

 Garbage Day

They’re coming soon

to pick up the week’s detritus –

Corona bottles, paper plates caked

with dried tomato sauce.  The usual.

I tote a bulging garbage bag down the back stairs

And heave it into a stained green bin.

The sun is only a promise in the predawn grey sky.


Sorting through the recyclables,

I shove aside soggy newspapers

And the dampened carcasses of empty envelopes

Until I retrieve a tattered receipt the taxman will need

for my son’s meager estate.


Not much time.  I hear their truck groaning in the next block.

One more trip and I’ll be done.

My last cargo is rotting flowers.

A week ago (or was it two?)

when I identified his body in the morgue,

The sprays were elegant white lilies

And radiant but fragile roses

Held high on stalwart emerald stems.

Now they are fetid, flaccid, spent.

They have done their noble duty

of brightening dull days,

But their life ended too soon…like his.


My deadline’s met – the garbage guys aren’t here yet.

I trudge up the stairs, already exhausted

Yet the day’s just beginning.

Strewn along the path, I pass the fallen petals

from a dead bouquet – puddles of fuchsia tears.

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Reviewed by Diana Wiles 4/30/2012
I cannot express adequately just how much this moved me...I am so sad for you on the loss of your son...You have managed however from the ashes of your grief to produce a piece of writing that is so evocative and conveys so much feeling...
My belated condolences,
Love, Diana...
Reviewed by Valerie Amor 10/28/2011
This poem is so beautiful, but it breaks my heart -- not as much as it must have broken yours. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Reviewed by Cynthia Buhain-Baello 10/1/2011
Profound and deeply intense poem that says what is in your heart. We feel your loss through the words and it touches all of us. That is what poetry is about.
Reviewed by Sandi Schraut 9/24/2011
Dear Heavens, John this sounds like a very sad day! My heart-felt condolances! Sandi
Reviewed by Frances Seymour 9/23/2011
Dear John, So sorry for your loss, and perhaps for once, I'm at a loss for words to comfort. Blessings to you and yours...Frances
Reviewed by Paul Judges 9/22/2011
Well penned, John
Reviewed by jude forese 9/20/2011
the remnants and curios of death are surreal and disorienting ... grief can never be discarded ... my condolences ...
Reviewed by Micki Peluso 9/16/2011
Oh John, I feel your pain as I lost a child too in a violent way. Writing saved my life, especially poems like yours that seem to portray the pain more than any other venue. I pray for you and your family and all who loved and lost him.

Blessings and prayers,

Micki Peluso
Reviewed by Ch'erie de Perrot 9/15/2011
First of all John, my sincere condolences to you for you terrible loss!!
Wot a joy to read such a poetic write, in light of all you and yours are feeling right now, truly inspiring, with such poignant metaphors for the situation. Well done. Stay well, blessings to you all.
Reviewed by Kristal Hart (Reader) 9/13/2011
Reviewed by Janna Hill 9/12/2011
My mind swims in the parallels of your poised grief. To vent so fluently with wounds so fresh…
May you be comforted.
Reviewed by Connie Faust 9/12/2011
This is gut-wrenching. I feel the gloom of your terrible bereavement as you plod through necessary tasks. May God bless and comfort you.
Today I attended a memorial service for a 22-yr. old mother of 3. Such a loss is a raw wound that will take a long, long time to heal and will never be forgotten.
As I pray for my young friend's family, I will pray for you and yours.

Reviewed by John Flanagan 9/12/2011
Such a beauty here, John,
the poet coming to terms with loss and pain
that is so personal and real.
My deepest condolences.

Reviewed by Chip Bergeron 9/12/2011
The analogy between a funeral and taking out the garbage hits hard, also the pieces of a life discovered along the way. Thank you for sharing.

Chip Bergeron
Reviewed by Susan Bergeron 9/12/2011
Moving condolences on your loss. Sue
Reviewed by Adda Davis 9/12/2011
John, I'm not much good at poetry either, but I often put my deepest emotions into the lines of a poem which nobody will ever see. but me. Your poem spoke to my heart and I walked beside you as you trudged up the stairs.
Reviewed by Blue Sleighty 9/12/2011
Poignant. I hope cathartic as well. It is hard to wrap your brain around these things. I have not lost a child, thank god. But I am within the support system of 4 people who are very close to me that have lost children who were adult or late teen. Only mentioning in case you would like to add supportive friends, John. Love and hugs! I pray that you and yours will find peace in your minds and hearts.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/12/2011
Pure soul touching poetry...thank you for sharing!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Sudo Nym Poet in Motion 9/12/2011
"But their life ended too his - puddles of fuchsia tears.

'not much of a poet'? - I think, you've stumbled upon your poet's voice. It often comes in our darkest hours and speaks to help us through these moments.

Again and again, my heart is woeful for your loss and words too slight for pertinent relevance. While today it's yours, at any given moment it could be mine or someone else's. Blessings for you and your family, as empathy is all that I may offer.

Peace and Strength be Yours,
Sudo Nym

Reviewed by Walt Hardester 9/12/2011
John real poetry comes from the heart. We all deal with things in different ways. I think this is eloquently stated.
You are a poet, sir.
I would also like to add my belated condolences.

Reviewed by Jennifer Abernethy 9/12/2011
Wow! Brilliant. I read this three times..the third profound. Thinking of you...
Reviewed by Rosemarie Skaine 9/12/2011
Moving. I am saddened by your loss. Blessings, R
Reviewed by Carolyn Red Bear (The Bear Paw) 9/12/2011
Mr. DeDakis, there are no words than can come close to this pain...wondering why anything matters anymore, deadlines, trash, waking up... wondering how life goes on all around you...all is nothing but a garbage day after such a loss, with this kind of pain. My heart aches for you and your family...

In Spirit,
Reviewed by CAROL HEGBERG 9/12/2011
Forget not being "much of a poet." Your poem brought across the point of your poem. It will always have meaning to you and yours. It also had for me. Well done.
Reviewed by D Johnson 9/12/2011
John, I am so sorry for your loss please accept my condolences to you and your family.

Through your words, one can feel the pain and and sadness of loss through the simple job of taking out the trash. This was a stunning piece of writing...I wish you and your family much peace.

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