Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Postscript : Remembering Marcel

He was a slight, pouty-mouthed, effeminate lad,
unable to come out as gay
in a Catholic school of blustering good-ole-boys,
in a conventional, narrow, small church town in the '60's.

The other boys would tease and provoke him
for his differentness,
till he erupted in a red-faced, frothing rage.
"Begone, thou milk-faced fools!" he'd quote,
followed by an entire declamation from Shakespeare,
while the other boys fell about laughing.

I watched, and did not speak,
not knowing how to make them stop.
But I fell in beside him, walking home.
We did not talk about the pain of school.
We just walked, quietly, in solidarity.

He always waited for me, after that,
at the corner of Elliott and Richter.
We'd crunch our way through the snow
towards the lit-up building,
to endure another day of surviving school.

He came into his own in university,
where individuality was admired.
There, his knowledge of art and Shakespeare,
of being his own person,
stood him in good stead.
There he found love,
and lived his happiest years.

His story does not end well:
only that one, brief love,
then aloneness, illness, poverty,
gay-bashing, disinterest by the police 
to whom he reported the crime,
and rage against his fate.
He took his life one early morning
and definitively left this world.
A sad life that would have been
- deserved to be -
so brilliant, with the addition of
a little human warmth and acceptance.

or Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: Acceptance

I wrote Marcel's story, Remembering Marcel, here, if anyone cares to read more about him. His life and death sort of broke my heart.


  1. This is such a beautiful & poignant piece. He shall be remembered in everyone's prayers and hearts.

    Lots of love,

  2. Very sad that this young man did not find the acceptance in the world at large; but you, Sherry, were his friend & liked him and accepted him just as he was. We can hope that today it is a different time and that the Marcel's of this world have a better chance.

  3. I remember that previous poem - his story is sad, not being able to be himself. I am glad that he had you to walk with him while you did. Ugh, that he had to take his own life is rather heartbreaking.

  4. This is so heartbreaking, Sherry. And the way you have written this poem, we could totally empathize with Marcel. Really, if only there was a little acceptance and warmth from the so-called normal human beings, he would not have to take his life. Very sad.
    A brilliant poem.

  5. this is indeed a sad story and a sad poem; thanks for sharing with us Sherry

    have a good Wednesday

    much love...

  6. And the bullies are cowards that band together for alone they would only squeak (like a hinge).

    I too had a friend...

    1. Agree...bullies are too cowardly to act without back upThey are destructive and are a menace to society.

  7. Yes, what a heartbreaking story this is, and what a. blessing to have shared that connection X

  8. Heartbreaking, indeed. I wish we could all accept the differences of others. The differences are what make us beautiful. Thank you for sharing his story.

  9. Once again you have excelled with your emotive but outstandingly beautiful writing. On this occasion I won't confess about tearing up although I am lying.

  10. As sad a story as this is/was, my mind flashes to the adolescents & teens who commit suicide because of bullying; the ultimate acceptance tragedy. Regardless, I liked what U did with the poem; very touching.

  11. The only consolation is he had some memorable fond memories of which you were a part....this is devastating, a light is put out in want of acceptance...

  12. I am very glad he had you however - quiet solidarity is very sad that the most brilliant people are marginalised in our world...everything is out of balance - difference, intelligence all gets a bit much for the 'middle' people but i am so pleased we have these shining lights of special people

  13. Its hard to be out when the world won't accept you, and in some case will kill you.

  14. I did read about Marcel earlier on, and following your link, found a devastatingly honest account, beautifully written. Wish you could really stitch your remembrances, beginning from your great grand parents, into a book, with some of your wonderful beach photos on the dust jacket ..

  15. Sherry, I went back to read your original story. It's heartbreaking. As you may recall, earlier this year there was a suicide in my family. He was gay too and although he had many friends and family who loved him, I can't help but wonder how much he may have suffered from lack of acceptance by ignorant people. Your story and this poem, touch my heart deeply and I thank you for writing about something so personal and someone so special.

  16. I remember the back story Sherry ~ I am sad to read this again and hope he is at peace ~

  17. I remember reading his story before. You have put it into poetry very well. Thanks for keeping his story alive.

  18. Sherry,

    Your poem reflects the absolute need to live and let live, in this increasingly cruel world of prejudice..However, it is to be hoped that acceptance may be gaining a stronger voice..

  19. Sadly there are unfortunate souls who could have made it. Taunting can be painful. Well penned Sherry!



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