When was
As a child
When the
Sexual abuse
Or when
No one moved
To Stop
As it continued
With others
And he stood
Or when
He began
Beating the old woman
Who befriended him?
Some may say
It was on the gurney
In the blank white room
At the prison
When was

 © 2014 Thomas W. Cummins

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7 Responses to “Condemned”

  1. maskednative Says:

    Tom, your presence in this man’s life would surely have allowed him to trust, even if only one person, in you, to allow his spirit to return to the homecoming of God’s love. He is at peace.You must now also let him go. God Bless You.

    • Tom Says:

      Thank you, Teri. There is an aspect of not letting go that can be harmful such as obsessive dwelling or feeling haunted. I prefer seeing it as “not forgetting” my accompanying another no matter how brief the journey.

      This particular reflection refers back to an execution which took place more than twelve years ago. But it is certainly colored by my subsequent discussions with hundreds of mentally disturbed and damaged prisoners.

      Factors swirling around the whole issue of capital punishment, e.g. mental defect, psycho-sexual impact of abuse, racial disparity, following due process, geographic differences, poor defense, etc., need to be put out there by those of us who have stepped behind the curtain.

      Breath, to me, is a symbol for all that is life-giving including grace. For the man referred to, I can’t help but wonder when the fabric of his life was irreparably torn, when his last life-giving breath was taken.

      • maskednative Says:

        Tom, I do agree with you, that letting go also means not forgetting. I hope I didn’t offend.
        Your description of breath as a symbol for all that is life-giving, is deeply thought-provoking.

  2. chrisbkm Says:

    Tom, we need a different word (button) than “Like” on your posts. It’s always more than that… but I don’t know what the word is.

  3. Tom Says:

    Teri, no offense taken, blessings always.

  4. Thomas Says:

    You’ve taken on a tough job, Tom. I wish peace for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in poetry.

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