Picture courtesy of Jake D. Parent


The following poems are by Author Jake D. Parent, and were written in memory of his beloved cousin Tim, whom died of a drug overdose in jail. Jake is also Co-Author and Editor of Hearts & Scars – 10 human stories of addiction, whom he dedicated to Tim also.

Jake is the author of Only the Devil Tells the Truth, a novel about a young man growing up in poverty and dealing with addiction.

The Hearts & Scars collection of stories shows how the deadly disease is a conflicted struggle, not simply of broken people, but one that encompasses the human condition that affects us all.

The book consists of two sections. The first is a series of short fictional stories that portray individuals suffering from active addiction. The second is made up of real life tales of recovery, written by the people who experienced the journey themselves.

The book can be downloaded free from Amazon.


A Poem for Tim

Today I wish I could go back

To jumping out of tree forts

And on the trampoline

Off the diving board

Leaping from bunk beds that seemed as tall as mountains

Back to playing with the bucket of He-Man toys

To the McDonalds playland

And rice kicks in Mortal Kombat

Back to opening presents on Christmas Eve

Back to goats and boxers and frogs in the pool filters

I’d even go back to growing up and drifting apart

Back to following the same ugly path as each other

Talking in my dad’s kitchen about getting shot

It was so good to see you then

We were in the same boat

Floating toward long-term consequences both of us could see

But neither of us could understand

I will always see your face when I look in the mirror

Reminding me that you went right when you should have gone left

How easily it could have been me

And the tears in my eyes when I found out it was you


The Next Ridge

Everything you ever wanted

The whole world exactly how you pictured it

You were always so close

To the perfect morning

When nothing hurts

When the sun shines in from the window and blankets your baby’s face

Those days always seemed real enough to grab

But always out of reach

Behind one more obstacle

Over one more hill

Then the good kind of morning would have come

You would have worn your smile

Instead of hiding it in your gut

Letting it fester and dissolve

You died of a broken heart

It suffocated

Overwhelmed by genetics and a few bad breaks

There were a thousand times you could have chosen another way

Plenty of times you tried

But found a reason to get back on the wheel

Always planning to get off the next time around


Looking in the Mirror

It could have easily been me



In a jailhouse bunk bed

No one to hug

No one to squeeze my hand as I try to hold my last breath

Wishing for one more chance to take it all back

Regretting for eternity that I caused so much pain


Nicola is our Blog and Article Editor at InTheRooms.com. Her work has been published internationally in many recovery publications and poetry books. She is a qualified Reflexologist, Masseuse and Life Coach. She has created content for intherooms.com for 7 years. She was Editor at iloverecovery.com. She is also an author at The Girl God books. She has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was 7 years old.


  1. Thank you for sharing.I’ve been in a jail bunk bed many times and know how lonely it truly is.God bless you Jake

  2. Julie Gilbert Reply

    Thank you for putting a compassionate modern identity to those who are, or have suffered the pain and anguish of addiction.
    At times it seems that we ride by the skin of our teeth on a daily basis in recovery and then others we are blessed with the sunshine that warms our very being.
    My daughter will turn 20 on Monday and only through Grace is she still able to walk with me and her beautiful son, she was spared.
    Eternally grateful though deeply in wonder we move forward one step at a time.

    Julie xx

  3. Dave R (David Ian Rose) Reply

    Heart breaking and poignant, beautiful and simply put. Thank you.

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