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It’s Only an Hour by Jeanne H.

I thought to stay home
but it’s only an hour,
So I go for a dose
Of the magical power.

I take a seat
Against the wall,
Next to Bubba
With the southern drawl.

All the regulars file in
There’s Mike and Joe,
Sara and Tim.

Crazy Carl is at it again
Yelling at Bob,
His very best friend.

There goes Len
Across the floor,
Three cups already,
He’s getting one more.

He slides his feet,
He’s got a weird gait,
The Thorazine shuffle,
A term coined by Nate.

I trade smiles
With my friend Gus;
They’re all effing crazy
Except for us.

Margaret and Sue
Are laughing out loud;
They’re having such fun
Up high on their cloud.

The gavel sounds
And so we begin;
Kevin’s in charge,
I get a kick outa him.

It starts with the usual,
So mundane;
The readings, the guidelines,
Not why I came.

Then the big question,
Is anyone new?
We look around;
Tonight there are two.

There’s a big guy,
He’s a marine;
His hands are shaking,
He looks kinda mean.

And a young hot mess,
Says she’s not sure
If she belongs here;
She sits by the door.

We snap to attention,
It’s time to get real;
We think we can help them,
We know how they feel.

Hands go up,
Kevin must choose;
He calls on Sam,
With him we can’t lose.

Sam’s an ex-con
With muscles and tats;
He’s had a rough life,
Not ashamed of his stats.

Searching for words,
He digs deep in his heart,
Inspiring the newbies
To embrace this fresh start.

He recalls from his past
The pain and the gloom,
Then speaks of the hope
that he found in this room.

Next goes Len,
What the hell,
That guy’s nuts;
Can’t Kevin tell?

But there’s more to Len
than meets the eye;
His soulful words
make the big guy cry.

And so we speak,
One after another,
A barber, a cop,
A mom and a brother.

Despite many strengths,
We’ve all been to hell;
Yet, thanks to each other,
We’re here now to tell.

Next thing I know
Up goes my hand,
Compelled to reach out
I might even stand.

Without any planning
The words just flow;
Where do they come from,
I’ll never know.

The hour passes
And so we’re through;
We did the best
That we could do.

The girl is hopeful as she leaves,
The big guy’s shedding big tears of relief;
Maybe they’ll make it, maybe not.
We know in our hearts
We gave all we got.

Once again
I trade smiles with Gus;
We’re all effing crazy,
Thank Howard for us.


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