Not All Poems Rhyme

By Lynne M. Chin

PROLOGUE

House of pain
There was no one to help
There was no one who would believe it
The previous night’s beating was the last one
The latest threat was the final one
The only way to break the cycle

THE LAST DAY

Phone call from the chief of police
Can you get over to the hospital? As if there was a more pressing matter at the moment
On a gurney in the ER, the soles of his feet red from blood
The hospital crawling with police
Cannot get straight answers from anyone
Waiting, waiting in the lobby of police headquarters
News reporter asking questions and for a photograph

NEXT DAY

News trucks lined up at the curb outside the courthouse
Only News 12 is allowed in, they can share the feed with the others
Orange jumpsuit, handcuffs, ankle bracelet, shackles dragging on the floor
He will never be the same; no one and nothing will ever be the same
They claim they want to know the motive
This is a high profile case, he’s looking at thirty years to life, no deals will be made
Relative says ‘He must have snapped’

STATUS CONFERENCES

The sudden ‘best friends’ knew nothing at all
Those who knew something kept their mouths shut
Is the fifteen minutes of fame worth it? You didn’t even know these people before this
A plant from the prosecutor’s office monitoring hallway conversations
Once again waiting in the hallway for a status conference that has been cancelled
Can’t find anybody who will say anything bad about either one of them
No one will speak ill of the dead
Warned by the court officer ‘Don’t touch him’

THE TRIAL

Public defender set aside all cases to work on his first patricide
The defense had a solid case; therefore their team had to be broken up
Eight years to get to trial
Deify the deceased; make the suspect look bad, exculpatory evidence goes away
Nothing unusual there
Oh, he’s smart? Then he’s an evil genius
Why didn’t he just leave?
He was just a concerned father, it was an isolated incident
Sleeping in his chair, he posed no immediate threat
Pillar of the community: camouflage for the reality behind the front door
The audio recording was not enough to save him
You cannot wonder why he trusts no one
They claimed they wanted to know the motive, until they found out what it was

EPILOGUE

House of pain
There is no one to help
You cannot wonder why he trusts no one
He is a felon now, but at least he is alive

(Bio: Lynne M. Chin is a writer from New Jersey.)

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