Stark reality hits when the violence is gone, but so is he.
POPS open another window into the cycle of incarceration and violence. The damage is done, the “offender” is sentenced, but the family remains behind to try and wipe away the smudges.
The creative process of poetry gives an outlet for emotions and for finding productive responses to the pain of the prison system. These emotions must be addressed if the spiral of incarceration is ever going to be reduced.
The monster from our dreams
He’s real, but he can’t hurt us anymore
He’s gone, yet we still see him when we sleep
It’s an unspoken rule between us
I know your story, yet you haven’t spoken a word.
You’re smiling, but I know you hurt.
We share the memories but not the pain.
Your heart didn’t break the way mine did
Your eyes didn’t see what I saw, and my eyes didn’t see what you saw
My ears didn’t hear your “Stop, Dad, don’t hit her, Dad, don’t break that, Dad, I’m sorry, Dad” screams
But I know you screamed them, I know you cried those little eyes out and pulled the tears back when someone was near
Don’t worry, honey; don’t be scared, he’s gone now.
But now that’s the problem, he’s gone.
I know you’re better, that these nightmares are slowly fading
Slowly causing less harm as they travel back.
Remember this when you’re feeling sad,
Remember this when the silence is too intense and the voices in your head won’t stop,
Remember this when the flashbacks come back to haunt you,
Remember that you’re not alone.
Remember that now when we scream, we wake up.