Through cries and screams and sobbing eyes
our children beg to be believed.
How long until we realize?
This pain they feel must be relieved.
So many lost along the way.
Graves and jails lock them in.
The guilty ones still free to prey,
on innocence with their sins.
The teacher sees the child alone,
shy and scared while others play.
Suspecting things not well at home,
she wants to help but looks away.
The preacher gives his message clear
"Spare the rod and spoil the child".
He fails to say "Let's hold them dear,
with patient heart and tempers mild."
The neighbor hears the loud abuse
and sees the marks on her tiny face.
He has no proof so there's no use
butting in is not his place.
The doctor mends the broken arm,
while bruises tell the nasty truth.
He knows inside what caused this harm,
but writes it off as part of youth.
The men we send to make our laws
ignore this truth - so hard to face.
And we with votes must see their flaws,
send someone else to take their place.
We seek a place to lay the blame,
while our children take another blow.
When another dies - the cause the same,
we swear to God we didn't know.
* * * * *
I wrote this poem in my twenties (has it really been two decades?), yet it still rings true. The only real progress I've noticed is that those in the medical field are required now to report certain injuries, or patterns of injury, to the authorities. But even that effort seems to be misguided at times, incapable of understanding that children actually do jump off the backs of sofas, or fall off their bicycles. Society -- the collective, I believe, is as incapable of common sense and reason as is a computer.
This poem is part of a collection of short stories and poems available on Amazon for the low price of 99 cents.