Opioid overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people under 40; and in the US last year, more people died from opioid overdoses than from car accidents. At DESK we’ve lost several people over the years, as recently as this past weekend. Below are a few poems that we selected to honor those we’ve lost during the opioid epidemic. Please feel free to leave a comment in memory of someone you lost. If any of these poems resonate with you, please share your thoughts.
93, 331 by Alicia Cook
In some other timeline
I find you in time,
turn you on your side.
In some other timeline,
I beat the sirens home
and you don’t die alone.
In some other timeline,
you recover— and no one needs to call your mother.
Poem by Peter Jones
Could you walk in our shoes?
Live the lives we do?
No longer here to tell you
The things we have to do.
Everybody judged us
They gave us all a name
When we were out just walking
We’d hang our heads in shame.
So now we’re just a memory
One some choose to forget
But one thing to remember
There will be some more yet.
Not one of us are perfect
May not choose what we do
So please, please remember!
One day this could be you.
So would you like to take a step?
Walk just where we do
If you think it’s easy
Please come and take my shoe.
Fentanyl by Brian Wells Kamloops
Remember, no such thing as safe drugs in the streets.
Dealers cutting product with fentanyl ‘cause it’s cheap.
A hundred times stronger than morphine.
One dose could put you to sleep.
Not talking counting sheep.
Real power, six ODs in an hour.
Being found in weed, pills, and powder.
New fad. Coroner coming to zip you up in a body bag.
Four deaths in a month really sad.
Kids left with no mom or dad, all because the dope they got was bad.
Addiction, an epidemic the black market is glad to have.
Streets not a game, chew you up, spit you out if you’re lucky.
Many people die getting high, just trying to feel normal.
Prison not the answer, a need for more rehab centres.
So, I looked at my own situation I was facing.
Waking every day like I was in the movie Groundhog Day.
Always the same, mentally drained, suffering chronic pain.
Let me be the first to say, I’m an addict.
Understand the hesitation in prescribing narcotics.
So, forced to go see the street doctor. No degree but has what I need.
I plead, Dear God, please don’t be fentanyl in these pills I receive.
No labels or warning, mixed wrong could be fatal.
Talking two extra grains, the size of salt at your kitchen table.
Call of a OD. Coroner records another fatality.
A young girl, age 16, solutions needed.
Funerals continuously being repeated.
Takes one line, one innocent looking line.
Another family left behind, crying a river of pain, drowning in regret.
Death’s never had no respect.
Behind every addiction, there is a family that is suffering.
Remembering those who have lost their battle with addiction,
and those who are still suffering.