Sign up for our email newsletter today

Grave Mistake: A Kensington resident’s poem about the progression of heroin use

A syringe “sharps” disposal container used during a Prevention Point Philadelphia street cleanup on March 6, 2021. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

Drew Watson is 35 years old. Raised in Kensington, he grew up with his four brothers and father. Watson had a lot of free, unsupervised time, so he started rapping and writing poetry at 12 years old. Writing poetry became a hobby and outlet to help him cope with his substance use disorder. He is now in recovery. This poem is about the progression of someone using drugs for the first time. It can start off feeling fun, but it becomes a grave mistake, he says. 

Grave Mistake

I pray for the one who uses for the first time today…They won’t want to leave; they’ll want more so they’ll stay…

They’ll do it for fun, or maybe for the high…They’ll like when using; they’re far from being shy…

It’ll start with excuses to their family or friend…Then there isn’t a rule that they won’t bend…

And that’s when it starts, the road to disaster…Being a liar and thief is what they’ll master…

It’ll start with denial. They’ll say “I’ll be fine”…But at this point it’s only a matter of time…

They’ll lose their kids, their car, and their home if they had one

They’ll be out for days or weeks or months on a binge…Getting their high from a dirty syringe…

They’ll be lying and stealing, having no conscience or thinking…They’re stuck in quicksand and slowly sinking…

They’ll try to pull up, but they’re in too deep to pull out…Their body needs it to function, that is without a doubt…

They are sick with no money, no dope to get cured with…They thought the stories they heard were just a big myth…

Now they do believe as they stand with no hope…That this is the life you’ll live, if you pick up that dope…

Jails, Institutions, and Death, it’s that blunt…So play with the devil if that’s what you want…


Editor’s note: If you’re dealing with a substance use disorder, please check out the following resources and services from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.


Editors: Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters / Designer: Henry Savage

What did you think about this story? Send a note to editors@kensingtonvoice.com, and we’ll consider publishing it in our Voices section. You can also tell us what you think in person at our neighborhood events.

Total
7
Shares
Related Posts