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Gone From These Woods  by Donny Bailey Seagraves
Uncle Clay was my hero.  We did all sorts of things together.
We read comic books together. We loved super heroes and he called me D-Man.
We’d walk through the 300 acres of woods that belonged to him and my Dad.
When I turned eleven, Uncle Clay gave me the hunting rifle that belonged to my late Granddaddy.
I would spend nights at his house when my Dad was mean and raving from drink.
I could tell Uncle Clay anything.
I shot my Uncle Clay.  It was an accident, but it was all my fault.
All my fault.  I don’t know how I’m going to live with that.
Crying is a baby silly thing.  I deserve to suffer
I wish I could be a baby again so my Mom would never let anything bad happen to me.
The whole church is praying for me, but I know they blame me.
Mom says “you’ll get past this terrible thing that happened. It will take a long time, but you’ll heal.”
My friends want me back at school. “It wasn’t your fault, what happened to Clay.”
Nothing feels good or right.
I can’t get rid of my guilt. It’s always there eating at me.
Just like the guilt eats at my Dad.  My screaming smoking hateful Dad.
Guilt turned my Dad into a scary drinking monster who whips his son’s legs with a belt.
Will guilt turn me into a monster like my Dad?
I feel like a super hero going backwards, losing powers.
I miss my Uncle Clay.
Uncle Clay is never coming back and it is all my fault. I can’t pretend my way out of that.
I pretend I feel better, but I still can’t eat or sleep or even read.
I’m no super hero. I’m just Daniel.
I can hear Clay telling me “Daniel is still strong and powerful. Daniel can get through this. Go on and live this life for the both of us.
I feel something inside me crumble. Sadness and fear. I can’t fix my Dad or bring Clay back, but I can live for them as well as myself.
It’s what Uncle Clay would want.
Gone From These Woods by Donny Bailey Seagraves. 2009, Delacorte Press. Digital book talk by Kathryn Whitehouse. Prepared  for LIBR 264 Fall, 2010  taught by Dr. Douglas Achterman. Images sourced through Creative Commons. Royalty free music sources through Incompetech.

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Gone From These Woods by Donny Bailey Seagraves, a book trailer

  • 1. Gone From These Woods by Donny Bailey Seagraves
  • 2. Uncle Clay was my hero. We did all sorts of things together.
  • 3. We read comic books together. We loved super heroes and he called me D-Man.
  • 4. We’d walk through the 300 acres of woods that belonged to him and my Dad.
  • 5. When I turned eleven, Uncle Clay gave me the hunting rifle that belonged to my late Granddaddy.
  • 6. I would spend nights at his house when my Dad was mean and raving from drink.
  • 7. I could tell Uncle Clay anything.
  • 8. I shot my Uncle Clay. It was an accident, but it was all my fault.
  • 9. All my fault. I don’t know how I’m going to live with that.
  • 10. Crying is a baby silly thing. I deserve to suffer
  • 11. I wish I could be a baby again so my Mom would never let anything bad happen to me.
  • 12. The whole church is praying for me, but I know they blame me.
  • 13. Mom says “you’ll get past this terrible thing that happened. It will take a long time, but you’ll heal.”
  • 14. My friends want me back at school. “It wasn’t your fault, what happened to Clay.”
  • 15. Nothing feels good or right.
  • 16. I can’t get rid of my guilt. It’s always there eating at me.
  • 17. Just like the guilt eats at my Dad. My screaming smoking hateful Dad.
  • 18. Guilt turned my Dad into a scary drinking monster who whips his son’s legs with a belt.
  • 19. Will guilt turn me into a monster like my Dad?
  • 20. I feel like a super hero going backwards, losing powers.
  • 21. I miss my Uncle Clay.
  • 22. Uncle Clay is never coming back and it is all my fault. I can’t pretend my way out of that.
  • 23. I pretend I feel better, but I still can’t eat or sleep or even read.
  • 24. I’m no super hero. I’m just Daniel.
  • 25. I can hear Clay telling me “Daniel is still strong and powerful. Daniel can get through this. Go on and live this life for the both of us.
  • 26. I feel something inside me crumble. Sadness and fear. I can’t fix my Dad or bring Clay back, but I can live for them as well as myself.
  • 27. It’s what Uncle Clay would want.
  • 28. Gone From These Woods by Donny Bailey Seagraves. 2009, Delacorte Press. Digital book talk by Kathryn Whitehouse. Prepared for LIBR 264 Fall, 2010 taught by Dr. Douglas Achterman. Images sourced through Creative Commons. Royalty free music sources through Incompetech.

Editor's Notes

  1. Uncle Clay was my hero. We did all sorts of things together
  2. We’d walk through the 300 acres of woods that belonged to him and my Dad.
  3. When I turned eleven, Uncle Clay gave me the hunting rifle that belonged to my late Granddaddy.
  4. I would spend nights at his house when my Dad was mean and raving from drink.
  5. I could tell Uncle Clay anything.
  6. I shot my Uncle Clay. It was an accident, but it was all my fault.
  7. All my fault. I don’t know how I am going to live with that.
  8. Crying is a baby silly thing. I deserve to suffer.
  9. I wish I could be a baby again so my Mom would never let anything bad happen to me.
  10. The whole church is praying for me, but I know they blame me.
  11. Mom says “you’ll get past this terrible thing that happened. It will take a long time, but you’ll heal.”
  12. My friends want me back at school. “It wasn’t your fault, what happened to Clay.”
  13. Nothing feels good or right.
  14. But I can’t get rid of my guilt. It’s always there eating at me.
  15. Just like guilt eats at my Dad. My screaming smoking hateful Dad.
  16. Guilt turned my Dad into a scary drinking monster who whips his son’s legs with a belt.
  17. I miss my Uncle Clay.
  18. Uncle Clay is never coming back and it is all my fault. I can’t pretend my way out of that.
  19. I pretend I feel better, but I still can’t eat or sleep or even read.
  20. I’m no super hero. I’m just Daniel.
  21. Maybe I can go on and live life for the both of us. It’s what Uncle Clay would want.