Narrative Poems

“There are two basic kinds of poetry: narrative and lyric… Narrative poetry uses some of the same tools stories use: character, conflict, story.”

Heather Sellers, The Practice of Creative Writing

Here are several narrative poems written by GCAA creative writers:


Samar Slaughter

Ya know, a little fish once told her.
When you feel like you can’t keep holding on to
Just keep swimming but,
The further & further she swims the more distance there seems to be
And she doesn’t know how much longer she can take This sea cause you see ,
Her body is aching with each painful stroke
As she feels the water begin to tip toe down her throat, Starting to fill her lungs & pump through her veins,
As she tries to find the right words & sentence them in Her brain, she’s been tired lately,
And when she’s tired it shows up in her face
And in her body language , topped with puffy eyes
And weak thighs, she just doesn’t understand,
Why she has to wear this mask,
Like some unfinished painting,
But the artist didn’t quite finish the task,
It hurts man, at a young age she realized
That you don’t need water to feel like ya drowning. Drowning in tears and fears
All her imaginations and dreams begin to disappear,
She tries to hide & disguise her eyes all black & blue,  But covergirl you can’t cover,
What that man has done to you.
And with the blood on her face mama tells her
“Baby this ain’t the way love suppose to taste.”
So with nowhere to run & nowhere to hide,
She wiped the blood from her mouth,
And tears from her eyes,
And if victory was sweet
She pronounced herself the bitter loser.
Still tryna find excuses for this man to abuse her,
What’s the old saying ?
If loving you is wrong then I don’t wanna be right ?
But baby girl how much longer did you think,
you could win this fight?
How many restless nights & times losing ya appetite? Thinking this man would always bark and never bite.
That one day he might wake up & treat you right.
See in my eyes you deserve the world,
Nothing less, nothing more.
How many times has he laid his hands on you ?
Damn are you even keeping score ?
See to him it’s like a game,
And he keeps coming back for more ,
Each time much stronger than he was before .
Never thought I’d be saying this
While she’s lying on the kitchen floor ,
As if she’s given up
And it ain’t no reason to be here anymore.
Never thought my inspiration would become a victim,
Damn near hospital patient,
Because the man who “loved” her my father of course, Couldn’t look past his insecurities so he creates hers,
Of course,
My only question is why dad ?
Why me or my mama ?
Your easy breezy beautifuls,
Ya covergirls ,
Ya shining stars.
But it’s clear you only cared for creating more scars .
Not saying I don’t love you,
Or you don’t deserve love too.
Just saying maybe you’re a covergirl,
Tryna cover your black and blue.


Shane McDaniel

You never how it feels to be me
I had people talk about me ever since I was 13
Going around school every day, just trying to get my learn on
but I just kept hearing people singing the same song.
Ew, he’s so ugly! He’s so fat.
He might got head, but he got no back.
Oh shut up! What does that even mean?
I might not be so fresh or so clean,
but listen now cause I have the power
for someday I will be somebody living in a great big tower
If you can see me now, oh yes sir,
I got so many gifts from God with his awesome powers.
He gave me the gift to draw that I can use my hands,
He gave me a voice to sing for nature, oh it sounds so beautiful
And he gave me a body to dance so I wouldn’t sit still like a statue
So listen to me now since you’re a bully and a hater
God gave me a soul to be a leader and a creator



My aunt unlocked the door and it swung open,

I stepped in slow keeping myself aware of my surroundings,
The floor creaked beneath my feet,
Like the dead branches of a tree,
Drifting in the wind
Smoke filled the room,
Like a misty haze over a open field,
And a vibe,
An uncomfortable vibe,
Hit me in the center of the room
I was not wanted here,
And neither was my mom or sister,
My grandfather stepped from around the corner,
And when i saw him,
i knew he was my grandad,
Cause he had the same eyes that my mom did,
So warm i felt i was standing by a fireplace
An old lady sat across the room,
Her face had more wrinkles than a ruffled blanket,
A scowl was set in her face,
Like a mark set in stone,
This was my aunts mom,
The woman my grandpa cheated on my grandma with
My grandfather made his was towards us,
He ended up standing right in front of me,
I looked up at him nervous,
He was so tall,
I was like a child meeting their favorite sports player
He hugged us all,
And i wondered how his arms were long enough to do that,
But all of a sudden he grabbed my arm,
And my body felt warm,
It reminded me of my mom holding me in bed,
Singing a lullaby as she rocked me back and forth
And as i looked at him,
I realized,
This is where my mom gets her love,
This IS my grandfather
Need The Cure

When they all have said the same thing, its difficult to be so accepting.
Not all of the men have the same cologne that I’m used to
When you’r used to one smell.
Its hard to lift a new one up to your nose and smile.

SO STOP TRYING TO TAKE ME into your toxic arms.

There only one cure to this broken disease
Thats my own father. But looks like I’m stuck with it forever.
So don’t be open because its convenient, for you.
Dont say you love me like a daughter because you want me
to accept you. You know how I know you’re full of it?
Because you don’t look me in my eye to love. But you know who does?

My cure!

Unfortunately that’s not you.



I Can Dream, Though I Choose To Be A Realist
Walking in the door after taking the keys out of the lock
Sitting there in the chair, sunglasses on her face
She jumps at the sound of the door closing
It’s 1:30pm
Why does she have sunglasses on?
What time did she get home?
I know it’s not “2 or 3” as she says
It’s still 1:30pm
Why is she mumbling about the electricity?
Does she think it’s out?

I know it’s not

The TV flickering and the lights across the arch disprove that
I’ve already made my assumptions
I go and look in her bag
A bottle of what was “Simply Lemonade” rested on top
It wasn’t just lemonade though, I know this
Maybe partially, but not just what it originally contained
I already knew this, but this was only confirmation to the situation

I stab the bottle with a knife

It doesn’t need to be useful, it’s already served its purpose
Plus some that wasn’t its purpose
I’m not a stupid little b*tch
But she believes otherwise
I go downstairs and quickly change clothes
The ones I’m wearing are covered in dirt from work and smell like dog
I quickly throw my phone in my bag
My wallet with my licence goes too
Though it takes a few extra seconds to do so
I’m not about to do what she wants to
The last thing I need is to drive illegally
I already was going somewhere before this situation arose
This only encouraged me to leave quicker
One wagon
Sat in the drive with a radio I built the wiring harness to and Montana licence plates
A car that has gotten me out of a lot of problems

I already have those keys in my pocket
Sat on the street with scratches down the passenger side
A car that got me into a lot of trouble
One sports car
Sat infront of my car that is parked in the drive with a damper interior than desired
A car I influenced the purchase of more than I should have

I take those keys as well

It’s not like she will need them
She can’t use them anyway
Not legally, morally, or safely at least
But, knowing her, if she had the opportunity, she’d do it anyway

I tell her what I’m doing

She really doesn’t seem to like that idea much
I try to leave out the front door
My hand nearly getting shut in between the frame
A quick getaway was vital
The hoodie is already a large disadvantage to this

I’m still not a stupid little bitch here either

A locked door to the back sits closed
I change that
It no longer sits locked or closed
She can’t stop me

I’m leaving*

My car sits around the corner
A glowing safe haven I had never been happier to see
I feel like she’s going to be standing there
Patiently waiting until I’m visible to do something
Anything to prevent my get away
The closer I get, the more aware I am
She’s not there
She’s nowhere to be found
I unlock my car, throw my stuff in, close the door, and lock it
I look at the porch

It’s empty

I look in my mirrors that are absent of her presence
I shrug, turn on my lights, and throw it in reverse
I see her come out the front door
She’s just standing there, staring, mouth agape looking through the screen

I have never pulled out of that driveway as fast as I did then

It’s legal, I find out
I had full intent to return them
After anxiety thinking she would call the cops and stick them on me
Montana licence plates put on a black car
With dents and rust spots containing a small kid with red hair who looks about 12
In the driver seat
Yeah, a hard to miss get away vehicle
It’s unlikely, but still an unshakable feeling
It didn’t happen
I never got pulled over
Or interrogated
Or brought in

An even if I did I would have been fine

I consider it that I saved a few lives
Prevented the risk of someone losing their life
Or at the very least
I eliminated a potential disaster in the making

I’m still owed an apology, I think
One that’s honest
One that says
“It won’t happen again.”
Not just for this time, but for a lot of times in the past
I know they won’t come
Not anytime soon it seems

I can dream
But I choose to be a realist

It saves the heartbreak from even approaching

* I’m leaving for now, I know I’ll be back no matter how much I don’t want to be


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