Monday, November 3, 2008

My Poem

Answering the ring
Hearing my brother’s shame
Telling me where he was
Having no explanation
His Humiliation

Seeing our mom suffer
Worrying about his new world
Understanding he cannot say.

Finding the strength to go to him,
Seeing him at last…
My eyes
Overflowing with tears of happiness,
Stinging in pain of truth.

His segregation

Seeing my baby brother in prison blues
His clothes are
Shouting “PRISONER” in yellow for all to see
Others to guess what he’s done
To deserve this appalling place.

No one understands this boy
Except for us
and especially me.

And then
Seeing his smile as his heart swells with pride
Meeting his new baby niece
Noticing how much the kids have grown
Realizing it happened…
without him.

That yellow word on his pants should read instead,
“Uncle, Brother and Son”
Even just “Someone”

We are
Visiting under their rules
Playing their game
Realizing his dignity is a luxury
that gets taken away,
Even in front of us.

Hating the clock; it bears the news
Screaming all day long at me
Waiting to shatter our lives
at the end of this day

And then
Hearing the words
We have to go
Forcing us to leave
Abandoning him
Saying good bye
Ripping my heart to shreds

Seeing his face behind the bars
Hearing my daughter’s cries for him
Stifling my own

Unable to survive this walk of shame
Down the steps
Away from him
On the Path to the Outside
Because it’s where he wants to be.

Trying to grasp that he can’t come home
I am
Remembering when we were kids
Loving these memories
Because it’s all we have…for now
Visits like this will be erased
Only when he is free.

Watching my own little boy
Knowing my parents watched theirs
Hurting because they cannot hold this one
Or make it all better
This time

Aching because I cannot remove the pain
From anyone

Understanding there is nothing we can do
Except pray
And wait.


Paula said...

It means so much that you share your feelings here :)
Thank you for your strength and for the gift of the beautiful poem from your soul. I am sending hugs :)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Thank you so very much for your kind and generous words of support. This is another tough one, because it is from deep within, and I feel very vulnerable.
But when I got your comment, I had the courage to keep the post up.
thank you Paula...

Blicky Kitty said...

Oh your words struck such a chord with me! What a beautiful expression of your feelings. It goes beyond the labels we stick on people --prisoner, brother, their profession --and it's an honest look at the essence of our connections to our family.

La Belette Rouge said...

You and your brother have an amazing gift for transforming your pain into art. It is an extraordinary gift. That both of you have that talent says a lot about the parents you have.

I am so pleased that you came back to blogging and that you are bringing all of yourself and your feelings to your blog: sadness, humour and unspeakable grossness( the foot picture and that last post). I love you much.
Your Samos Sis
p.s. the word verification on this comment was "pilence". Pilence means: a baked good that is so delicious it makes you shut up. Here is a sentence: I make a pumpkin pie that is so good that it always creates total pielence whenever anyone eats it. So, happy to have created a word that does not involve insanity or craziness.;-)

Fifi Flowers said...

GREAT poem... such emotion... hang in there!

Completely Alienne said...

It's beautiful, straight from the heart.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Loved this the first time I read it. It brought tears then and tears now. So glad you put it back up. You have lots of talent. It shows here and I have seen some other work that I think shows LOTS of promise too. The only thing lacking is TIME to yourself right now.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Blicky: I, too, think labels can be so damaging....Yet don't we all do it? When visiting my brother, I find myself looking at all the other inmates with their families, wondering what they did, and putting labels on them. Hypocritical? yes. But human nature too. And then feeling angry at my speculation that others are thinking about my brother.
Thank you for commenting, Blicky :)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

SS/LBR: Why are you so funny?! Thank you for making me laugh! That is hilarious, and I also gave a verification word definition on your blog a few minutes ago. (Hint: word was MUNCE...oh what could it mean?)
And thank you so very much for your compliments. I do not feel artistic or talented, but it makes me feel like celebrating with some Pielence Pie after reading what you wrote.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Fifi, Alienne and Cris:
Thank you so much...I feel all warm and cozy now, even on this dreadful rainy day. :)

La Belette Rouge said...

Corfu Cuz: That is rhetorical, right?;-)

You are artistic and talented and I know somewhere deep down you know that. Until you remember it on your own I will keep reminding you.

Hope you enjoy your moment of Pielence.:-)

~TessaScoffs said...

See?!?! Crying. Again. I know the pain you feel for a younger brother's mistakes. You want your big sister arm to umbrella him his whole life. He is a man now. He has his own path. Count the days. Till freedom.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

What is it with these little brothers of ours? My best friend's baby brother (in his 30's too) is going thru the worst time of his life, among other family tragedies. It's heart breaking, gut wrenching, and though I don't know the details of your situation, I know you know the pain. And it helps knowing we aren't alone, doesn't it?
I promise to make a funny post next, I think we need the comedic relief :)

Anonymous said...

Miss Cassoulet, what a beautiful post. Again. Thank you for baring your spirit for everyone to see; it is *so* beyond the word courage, I don't even have a word for it.

Sending you a cyberhug,

PS: Thank God for LBR's comment, as we simply couldn't find Pielence in our Webster's.

Wendy said...

Great blog! I can't stop reading! Beautiful.