Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- guessing May 2, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:11 pm
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I guess

I should remember

the curve of your cheek

the reach of your arms

the pitch of your voice.

I remember

the imprint of your fingers

against my thigh, rising scarlet.

I remember

the strident screech

that foretold your speeches

about the unfairness of life.

I remember

the flash of your eyes

the thud of the door

being poor.

I guess

I remember

you.

.

.

(FYI- written in persona)

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question- what is molestation? May 21, 2015

I just heard about celebrity big brother from 19 Kids and Counting Josh Duggar’s confession that when he was a young teen, he behaved inappropriately with younger females, that he underwent counselling, and while he’s sorry about it, he’s received his forgiveness and moved on.

The internet seems full of those who label him a molester and think he should have been sent to jail.  I am somewhat confused by this response, because to my mind, a young teen, awash in hormones he doesn’t know how to deal with, is a boy in need of good counsel, frank conversation, and restorative justice, not a boy who needs to be tossed into jail.

I don’t know the details of Josh’s case, but then neither do those commenting all over the internet, so let’s keep this theoretical:

Facts: Young teen brains are not developed, therefore, impulse control is undeveloped. Pubescent hormones impact judgment.

I have to say that I think this kind of scenario speaks more loudly for the needs of young people to have thorough sex education- including not just the biology of their changing bodies but frank discussion regarding sexual autonomy and gratification.  Those of us who remember the wildly fluctuating passions of our first crushes need to remember that this is all extremely complex and confusing for 13 and 14 year old kids.  Media is assaulting them with messages about what sexuality means, their families and faith communities may have contradictory views.  How much did you discuss this stuff with your parents?  How much do you discuss with your kids?  I think our kids from toddlerhood need to know what is okay touching.  They need to know that they have autonomy over their bodies and that they should keep their hands off other people’s bodies.  But if they don’t, what should happen?

So here’s my question, with respect to pubescent youth– What is assault?  What is abuse?  What is mutual curiosity? What is counselor worthy and what is criminal?   Are there age lines?  Intent lines?  Subjugation lines?  What do you think is appropriate?  How would you want your son dealt with if he confessed to touching younger girls?

What is criminal responsibility for kids?

In the interest of disclosure, I am married to a youth probation officer who deals with this every day.  There definitely can be psychopathic rapists at 14, but they are a rare commodity.  Let’s concentrate on average kids.

 

poem- dark wishes December 17, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:02 pm
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In darkness

her wishes are simple:

No steps in the hall

no hovering hand

no panting breath

no pain.

In darkness

she wishes in vain.

 

poem- silent November 13, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:42 pm
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You sit

silently

staring  at your lap.

Your face

reflects sorrows

you will not describe.

Silence

is your

only safe

place.

 

poem- small October 11, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:27 am
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You were so very small

pulling your limbs inside yourself

wearing a vacant scowl,

trying to turn yourself inside out

to avoid notice,

when we were all there

for you.

So much trauma to hide from.

so many layers of armour.

Will we ever see you drop the ballast

so you can fly?

.

.

Probably a few too many metaphors here, but the sentiments hold true.  May have to work on this one a bit more.

 

poem- hole August 15, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:21 pm
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Occupy one

Small space

Hide here

Stay safe.

 

poem- lessons October 25, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:21 am
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When my dad went to school

he knew the Brother would beat him.

The ruler would rap down across

his small knuckles

once for every spelling mistake.

He knew he’d always make a mistake.

He knew he’d be beaten.

It didn’t make him study,

it just made him drag his feet

on the way to school,

meant education was painful

meant inadequacy

and brutality

were part of every day.

It didn’t make him speed up

that he’d be whipped

for tardiness

either.

During lessons,

he watched boys fly

across the room

propelled by the fury

of the Christian Brothers

who didn’t understand

much about children,

faith

kindness

or the golden rule.

Dad kept his head down,

nursed sore

knuckles and learned

how not to treat children.

.

.

Happy Birthday to my dad, who celebrates his 99th birthday today!

One more year until the official greeting from the Queen!

PS. Dad attended parochial school in Montreal in the 1920s.

 

 
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