By Gary Beck

I have seen so many children,
heirs to the American dream,
suffering in our prisons.
It must be my fault.
after all, somebody caused those kids,
the lost bodies of poverty
to miss the lessons that prevented
murder, arson, robbery, rape,
before the tender age of twelve.
I have sat with them,
behind medium or very secure doors
that keep them locked away,
far from the hope of our poor memory,
removed from our responsibility.
Yet somebody caused those kids
to go way beyond forgiveness.
You swear it wasn't you,
but it had to be someone.
All those kids didn't get up one morning
and suddenly commit horrible crimes.
So it must be me,
'cause if it wasn't you...


Previously published his "Prisons"


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