To a fellow survivor


Last week I participated in a local SNAP press event. The first in a number of years.  A survivor had come back to town because of a law suit being heard in the federal court of appeal. It was the least I could do to be present for him. I know how much courage and emotional energy such action takes and how debilitating the emotional after-effects can be. Over the weekend I began working on a poem that I will share with SNAP and ask them to forward to him.

Charles Bishop, fellow survivor

I did not know him; I had never heard his name.
Yet I knew we had shared tears and nightmares
And 2am walks on city streets
Feeling safer among the shadows
Than in our own churches or homes.

He is my brother, my father, my friend,
Joined in a fellowship of body and blood,
Not Christ’s, but our own.
Child sacrifices on the altar of secrecy
To the gods of power and lust.

I did not know him, but now I heard his name.
And I saw, from behind his numb, dark-eyed stare
His wounded child-self looking out to my own.
For just a moment they held each other’s gaze,
And then he whispered, “Thank you.”

Mona Villarrubia, (c) June 16, 2011

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