This poem (below) was written more than 30 years ago by a brilliant young man whose young life had been laced with rejection, heartaches, poverty and addiction amid the absence of ever feeling truly loved. Below is one of the sixty-plus poems he penned, which are taken from his book, Black Hole, assembled and collected from spiral notebooks and scrap paper, with no intention to have them published. That was done for him by a sympathetic family member.
These few simple words speak volumes about the persona of Bennett A. Frank.
THE DAY THAT I CAME LAST
Gather friends and listen, to a tale that’s true and wild
About a boy whose eyes would glisten as he turned to man from child
When Dad came missing in ’72, Mom spent no days in black
The world he knew was shades of blue, there was no turning back
The school bus dropped him off at home, but the door was often locked
His afternoons were spent alone, catching fish to trade in shock
When you’re between child and man, your world is what you make
There’s no time for tears that ran, He’s had all that he could take.
Hey Mommy, keep your men, your wine and bags of grass
For I would always remember, the days that I came last
* (second verse, Bennett refers to “Dad”…who was a stepfather.)
Bennett Arthur Frank died from an overdose on hard drugs in January of 2019. Xanax, Methamphetamine and Fentanyl, all three, were found his body. He had been living the homeless life, befriended mainly by homeless people and supplied with drugs of his choice by a generous physician.
Despite drug addiction which had haunted him since the age of twelve, he was a gentle soul, loved by his son and daughter, and his father, who knew he was trapped by a combination of mental illness, psychological impairment, low self-esteem and the everlasting grip from substance abuse.
Bennett knew that his father loved him, all his life, but always felt less important than other people, including family and friends. He felt he had disappointed everyone in the family circle. There was no turning back.
On September 11, 1960, Bennett was born a healthy baby in a North Miami hospital, the morning after Hurricane Donna hit the southeast coast of Florida. Today would have been his 60th birthday.
On January 17, 2019, he chose to put an end to his lifelong misery.
I will love him forever. I only wish he knew that.
And, I wish I could wish him a happy birthday.
Black Hole is available on Amazon, or from me via e-mail.
Bennett’s full story of his struggles can be found in the book “A Boy Who Mattered” available via Amazon. Signed copies available by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.