Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sandy Solomon: Child Molester

Imagine how his garden must look,

grown thick with flowering vines

and the snap beans his children pick—

three girls who run to hug him

when he comes home summer evenings,


the oldest almost as old

as you were then—

and the work-at-home wife

who depends upon his weekly check

and his gentle voice which you hear again


saying hello before you begin,

stammering slightly like a kid,

to say why you called.

You wanted it all to come out,

what he did to you back then,

but he chokes, repeating forgive me


so earnestly you have to hesitate—

such a nice man, the man who hurt you.

Could he be half good, half bad,

the line drawn so many years on either side?

To find a rule for measuring,


a final, strict proportion—

impossible, and you who draw lines

around your own misdeeds,

how can you withhold forgiveness

from the troubled man who cries,


begging to be left in peace

in the life he describes—harmless,

it seems.  But once he sat on your bed

and touched you and touched you,

releasing a secret, companion pain


that left you ashamed, and never

did it embrace him fully until now,.

though today it appears to him as fear

as it lifts its face,

opens its arms and mouths his name,

good or bad, either way.

Copyright 2017 Sandy Solomon

Sandy Solomon is the author of Pears, Lake, Sun winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press.


2 comments on “Sandy Solomon: Child Molester

  1. granolaho
    November 13, 2017

    When I read this, it brought me back many, many years. I recall the disbelief at seeing a familiar situation. What had owned my confidence and shamed me so much wasn’t even a thought in that man’s head. Never even did more than glance my way. I was glad but horrified to see how little I counted to people in this world. I enjoyed how you expressed it very much. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Saleh razzouk
    November 13, 2017

    Nice , passionate but remote. You feel the passion without seeing it. What drew my attention in fact is the photo and the background. It is oriental.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 13, 2017 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , .

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