This Poem was Submitted By: Rebecca B. Whited On Date: 2006-01-09 20:24:58 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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death...her victory!

they      laid her to rest today, though in truth she had been                   long since buried                                   neath mounds of paperwork, her body broken;                  the weight of injustice                                        levied by the justice system, what price she paid! a price for everything,                        compensation due                                        the social worker,                                                          the judge, but none as high                 as that due the mother                                       of this innocent child, what benefits she reaped; a monthly remittance for support            of insane abuse,                            rendered for child's welfare: pennies for pounding,        nickels for noxiousness,                dimes for dueling,                      quarters for the quell, til, alas,           a dollar for death!                              the child's innocence                                                   impugned many times over. three years she garnered                         pennies,                                 nickels,                                         dimes,                                             quarters,                                                    dollars of deceit;                                                                     the checks cease today. another fought               for right to claim                                 this child of plight, she once won,              until the system                               stepped in again, seeking justice,                 a mother's restoration of rights. her grandmother stands                       empty-handed at her grave,                                                 having relinquished her soul into the hands of a greater judge, one not         predisposed of                       pleas of a mother's innocence, caches of caseloads,                     trust in the theory that all who work for the system                                 compile faultless data, insuring child of protection,                              predator's denial... she revels now               in heavenly realm,                                 her joy is peace,                                                  her suffering ceased; death...her victory!

Copyright © January 2006 Rebecca B. Whited

This Poem was Critiqued By: Terry A On Date: 2006-01-18 00:40:54
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Your poem is apt commentary on a system, in which the welfare of the child should come first, and often does not. The format of the poem is interesting, each line a thought, you capture the point by point method that bureaucracy favors and its failings to deal effectively with people. Too much abnegation of responsibility results when social workers hold to the letter of the laws made, mainly to protect themselves. It is difficult for anyone to see death as a victory, and that doesn't work for me. Through I believe that all receive their just rewards in the long run; still, it is the least satisfactory outcome for a child in the welfare system. But, as the poem was understated, you may have deliberately intended irony. This poem deals with such a serious social issue, one in which the flesh and blood of those involved must be determined by more then just handbooks of rules. Terry

This Poem was Critiqued By: James C. Horak On Date: 2006-01-11 08:32:18
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rebecca, the sheer power of your theme here can carry any structure, any stanzaic formation, any decorative style one might make with declining line. Cay you, however, reach a better contextual rendering so that the reader AT ONCE, with only the first reading, grasps the overall complicity of a system with this mother in obtaining such ironic delivery that death becomes a deliverer, even a tragic "victory"? For, if you can, this poem will succeed, I believe, beyond expectations. I, personally, because concern for children should BIND us all to commonality, desire you to. You have so much to say and I want your power in saying it to be absolutely perfected. It is like a sacred task. But so many would wish to escape, let's be honest, the real import of your theme here. To read in, to read out, what can keep away the stark realization of the monsters out there, harming children with the complicity of us all, by what we tolerate of a system of "child protection" that doesn't protect, only trades in empty legality, fines and crass self-importance. Don't let the readers get away with this blithe "visit" to your poem. You can nail them with oh such slight changes. Give us just a little more "characterization" of this mother, a little more of a court being tied up in procedure, procedure wholly meaningless to any purpose except evasion of taking ANY responsibility itself for having the courage to EFFECTIVELY protect this child. I don't stress this because you have any weakness as a poet, I do so because, unless you've observed this close up, one might not appreciate the magnitude of this problem, might not think it epidemic. And we both know it is. I just had to reread your poem to know for sure you did. And that, you can easily correct. Make me know the first reading. My utmost regards, JCH
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas H. Smihula On Date: 2006-01-10 06:15:25
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.00000
Rebecca you have captured the thought of the abused by not only showing the physical but also the mental abuse provided in society. I enjoyed the words and thoughts presented here. My only difficulty was the presentation for it had we sliding from one line to the next would have liked to see a more solid stanza structure but of course that is only this readers thoughts. Really glad you posted this for it makes one look at abuse in its overall effects on one. Thanks for sharing. Especially liked the pennies, nickels, etc...
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