Vox Populi

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Tony Gloeggler: Social Story

Now that I am sick

with this kidney condition

I can’t spell or pronounce

my ex girlfriend is worried

a little about me, but mainly 

about her son Jesse.

She wants me to write

a short social story explaining

what death and dying means.

Something somewhat concrete

and not too frightening

that he and his autistic brain

has a chance to grasp.

Something about not being 

there anymore physically, 

but still with him. A part

of him, like blood and bones,

all the time and forever.

Something to prepare him

if and when I need to stop

visiting suddenly. Good luck

I think and begin typing

that some things are hard

to understand and scary

to think about; but learning

about them can sometimes

make things clearer, easier

when they do happen.


One of those things is death

and everybody eventually

dies. Even friends we feel

close to and love, die.

Some people get sick

and never get better

and some people grow 

old and die. I write down

no one knows what happens

when people die. But when

we can’t hang out and see

our friends anymore. We feel 

sad and bad and sometimes

we cry. The good thing 

is we can always, any time

we want to think about them

and how happy and lucky

it made us feel to know

we had someone we loved

who loved us back as much

as anything in the world.

I sign it love, TONY, in big

multicolored block letters,

find an envelope, press on

a super hero stamp, walk

to the corner mail box

Copyright 2022 Tony Gloeggler

Tony Gloeggler’s books include What Kind of Man (NYQ Books, 2020). He is a life-long resident of New York City.

Tony Gloeggler

8 comments on “Tony Gloeggler: Social Story

  1. Loranneke
    November 1, 2022

    Such deep kindness in this poem.


    • Vox Populi
      November 1, 2022

      Yes, many of us talk about kindness, but Tony actually lives it.



  2. Tony gloeggler
    November 1, 2022

    Glad you went for it Jason


  3. maddiemysko
    November 1, 2022

    Thank you, Tony Gloeggler. And thank you, Michael Simms, for bringing us the poems we need (and sometimes didn’t know we needed.)


  4. Jason Irwin
    November 1, 2022

    Beautiful poem!


    • Tony
      November 1, 2022

      Thanks Jason


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This entry was posted on November 1, 2022 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , .

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