Brown Sugar

Brown sugar, strap me down
Black my eyes, paint me clown
Lobotomize my heaving
Your needles trim this slack
Lift the edge from my back
Brown sugar, keep deceiving
Let loose the rubber straps
I’ll fall into your lapse
Brown sugar, cease my grieving

Brenda Warren 2017


The NaPo prompt asked that we write a nine line poem, and provided several forms that we could chase. I chose the Balassi Stanza which has a specific rhyme scheme and syllable count.

aadbbdccb / 667667667

This started as a poem about a circus side show, but forms almost always force something other. It became a poem about heroin addiction. I looked up nicknames for heroin, and chose brown sugar for this piece. Heroin draws people in and kills them. I’m thankful that I never tried it in my youth, and now I am wise enough to avoid it.

Forms provide fun word play. Even though this is dark, it was fun to piece together.