I wrote the original version of this poem quite some time ago, but have since revised it considerably. My wife had died (at the tender young age of only 40) from breast cancer, and I was not in any mood to hear all that gobbly goop about God and Heaven. It’s now been over 35 years since her passing and I haven’t changed my tune much. A little over Ten years ago, my youngest son died, unexpectedly in his sleep and, once again, I took up my pen. Truth be known, I am not a believer.
I DON’T BELIEVE
I don’t believe in Heaven. I don’t believe in Hell.
If there’s a God looking after us, he ain’t doing it very well.
Oh, I’ve been exposed to the teachings of Christ,
but lately it seems, I’ve had to stop and think twice.
Our country is in a shambles, the whole world is in fact,
how could there be a Katrina? Would a God have created that?
And, what about that Tsunami and all the people who died?
Seems a God would have prevented it, at least should have tried.
Earthquakes and volcanoes? Mudslides and floods?
Tornados and hurricanes? The world is oozing blood!
Children are starving, yet we have billionaires,
if there were really a God, wouldn’t he equal out the shares?
If there really were a God who was able to create,
wouldn’t you think the world would be in a much better state?
What about the fighting and killing, in ours, and other lands?
Would a God allow it to happen, if it were truly in his hands?
I don’t believe in Heaven, I’ve been told that it’s my right,
but if there’s a God and Heaven, why so many fights?
Since the beginning of time, there’s been one war after another,
most were over religious beliefs, taught to us by our mothers.
If there really were a God, he’d be a better referee,
he wouldn’t allow all the wars, fought in the name of thee.
When my wife left us, that was his final straw,
if there really is a God, he’s got a fatal flaw.
Never, have I known someone more deserving, every day,
if there really was a God she’d not have passed away.
There are people far less giving still here with us today,
this world would be a better place if she’d have been allowed to stay.
I don’t believe in God and, I know I have that right.
A real God wouldn’t make her suffer, or he’d allow her to win the fight.
If there really were a God, and he really could create,
he’d make better choices; he’d not have made that mistake.
(I DON’T BELIEVE – REVISITED)
I once wrote a poem titled, I DON’T BELIEVE.
I wrote it after my wife had died
(at the early age of 40) from breast cancer.
Together, we had tried so hard to believe.
We had prayed together, attended church
(over the years, several different churches)
and once we realized just how affected she was,
we visited with several faith healers.
She had put herself out there,
had allowed them to,
“Lay hands” on her,,,, to “HEAL” her.
…Then she died….
I was devastated.
We both had known that it was a possibility,
but she had always maintained hope,
right up to the very end.
Or, did she?
Perhaps she was only staying strong for me.
And, for those around her.
She had that quality about her.
At some point in time, I had seen it coming,
but I never discussed it with her.
I never discussed it with anybody.
But, I knew….
I blamed God….
Even as I wrote, I DON’T BELIEVE,
I was blaming him….
I never stopped blaming him.
Looking back, it’s hard to figure.
how I could be blaming the very entity
that I was professing not to believe in,
but I did…. I still do…..
Now it’s nearly 25 years later….
My youngest son just died….
in his sleep.
He was 42 .
He left behind a 17-year-old daughter,
in her junior year of high school,
named in honor of her grandmother.
This was a good man,
honest, loyal and loving.
Anyone who ever got to know him
considered him a good friend.
He could do anything and everything,,,,
and he had the tool that was needed to do it.
If a friend was in need of a helping hand,
he was always “Johnny on the spot.”
Was he a perfect person?
No, not even close,
but he was a damn good man,
with a lot to live for and a lot more to give.
After all these years,,,
professing to not believe,
I find myself again,,,,
Gramps use’ta say
would-a-been, if it should-a-been,
….but for the road not taken,
….or an unanswered prayer.”
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