The poem came to me in a rush during one of those darkest moments of despairs. From them, I gained strength to cope, to reach out to other registrants and step up to speak out against the tyranny.
Brothers and Sisters in Pain
What did I do to deserve a life of pain and fear?My motive rejected, judged my behavior a crime. Stunned at the devastating repercussions of my action. The act complete, my destiny sealed, my life shattered.
The impact crushed my identity, an annihilation of my worth.The alarming, unreal raid, a SWAT team brandishing assault rifles. Or a startling summon to appear before a biased, hardened judge. My life ending, my family, friends, church condemning.
My reality, years of painful isolation, penetrating shame.Alone, I mulled over and over again the “what ifs,” “if onlys” I despise their labeling me as leper, sinner … condemned. I even visualize the tattooed “Scarlet Letter” across my foreheads.
After punishment ends, endless traumatic troubles begin.With no job, homeless, no future, my despair overwhelms me. Insults from probationary officers, loved ones, neighbors down the block. The threats, the taunting, the finger pointing breaks me down further.
I begin to hole away, to lead a life of “quiet desperation.”I dare not question my truth, attacks, damning, denouncing retorts. Then my heart breaks even more … my sentence, shunned for life. My fate is sealed with reminders of chiding TV news broadcasts.
My agony, anguish cause me to give up, to raise a white flag.I accept my lot, too afraid to speak up, to write a letter to question, “why!” Inside, I say “I just want to be heard, I am not a boogyman… please hear me!” Nevermind the laws, I want to plead from my soul that I am a human being.
These inner yearning for justice demands to set the record straight.Though I have no outlet, to explain, to show that I paid dearly for my mistake. Is there anyone out there with a compassionate “St. Jude” to understand? I realize that this voice inside me is my only solace … heard only by God.
Quiet longings for human connections dominate, receiving eyes full of contempt.My prayers reach out for a “do unto others,” but instead reap a slap in the face. My Spirit tells me to have strength to cope with the dreaded registry … I must try! I seek answers that frustrate me … though I still strive … for what?
I read an article that says the registry is unconstitutional, punishment, illegal.Another explains men are appealing to get off the registry … is this true? Then other litigations create further punishing laws to twist the blade deeper. Am confused, but sense an inner need to be part of this movement …
Sisters and brother in pain, my desperation and hope are for you.My heart-felt thoughts are to tell you that you are not alone. Courageous heroes are speaking out against the tyranny, injustice. My plea to you… not to give up, but to give voice to your inner trauma, your truth.