“To maim and destroy the body of a man is no deed of recognition for valor, whether in war or in revenge, but to save a body which is the temple of the soul is an act and deed of the God-like.” Author unknown

I wonder abut their pain
Their frustration
Their anger
I wonder of their hopes
And whether the desire to see my last breath
Surmounts all else that they hope for
I wonder if they pray for closer
To what gods do they ask of my life?
What do they wish of my soul?
I wonder…

If they knew me, if they only knew me
Seven acres plump
With depressed, dead and dying men
Here we have learned to live and love

If you could lie behind my eyelids and listen
To shackle men shuffle by
On their way to the executioner
If you could see relief flooding my wife and kid’s faces
When I step into visitation and
They’re reassured I’m alive
I wonder if you still want me dead

I wonder if you knew
I want to live
That I’ve demonstrated
Broken rules trying to preserve my
Human right to life
Would my death still be your number one priority?

I’ve grown
I write poetry
I know my history
I cherish my life
I cry when people die
(And many people have died)
I know what love is
Pain is
Anger is
I know what you think of me
I know that you wait for me to growl and
Rattle my cage like the animal I’m portrayed
To be
But I’m human
Is it wrong for me to change?
To love?
To want to live?

I was a child
I became a man in prison
A man imprisoned for a crime I did not commit
But my history is your enemy still
And vengeance is your only salvation
But I wonder…
If you settle your heart and just
Thought critically for a minute
I wonder if you’d still want me dead

You may wash your hands
In my blood
But will that cleanse your slate of anguish?
Who prescribed death as a balm for your wounded heart?
I am a mother’s child
A loving father and husband
How can killing me make you feel better?
How does killing me differ from
Killing in general?

No matter that I’ve grown
I love life
That I’m a man
A father
A husband
I care
I hurt
My wife and children hurt
I’m human
Nothing matters – your mind is set

Yet I wonder on occasions….
If you could taste my grandmother’s cooking
See my wife and kids smile. Hear their laughter
See me smile, smell my hear or
Touch my skin and know who I am
I wonder…
Would you still want me dead?

World Day

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