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Graphic "Free Verse" Expression

Shirley Gale

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Hello Troy,

I am seeking permission before I post. I wrote a piece the other day in response to yet another one of my former students getting in trouble for killing a peer by shooting him in the back. I cannot stand what is happening to these kids--the boys and the girls. This work is titled, What The F do You Want From Me? The "F" is of course spelled out.

My first student, Earl Joseph, III, approximately two years ago, shot a man in the back after stealing cars. Earl was only 15 years old. When he was my student, he presented himself as this beautiful young man who possessed a gentle kindness and a smile that could light up the night's sky. I would have never dreamed in a million years that he would have shot someone. Now here is the kicker, Earl was reading on a 3rd to 5th grade level. He hardly ever came to school and when he did, the last thing on his mind was reading, writing, and listening to anything that any of his teachers, of course except me, had to say. Honestly, I am fortunate enough to understand this population of kids as my brothers and I were them. Anyway, I was not aware of Earl's activities until it was too late and my poor baby was locked up in adult population where he was of course raped and tormented by guys much older.  Please know that I am in no way excusing his actions. He was wrong--deadly wrong! But he had been wronged as well. He was wronged from birth by all of us--his negligent parents, Louisiana's piss poor educational system, his poor excuse for a community, and our out-of-site, out-of-mind society at large.  Earl took the life of someone's husband, father, brother, etc. But, the fact remains that I am devastated to know that this child, will be locked up for the rest of his natural life with absolutely no chance of patrol. Rehabilitation you say. Please don't mention that non-existent word to me.  Louisiana ain't no joke, but their version of rehabilitation certainly is!!!!

Long story short, as I always do when I am in despair, I wrote poetic verse to these events. I would very much like to share what I have written. However, I have some very wrong words which could be viewed as offensive for this particular platform. Troy, I would like for you to preview first and advise. This piece has graphic content, but  it is oh, so powerful. I would love to hear what CDBurns thinks about this particular free verse. I greatly respect his knowledge in this area.

Thanks so much,


P.S. I picked up my first follower, @madverse, on Twitter. Who would have thought???  Okay, I know. I am so behind. But I am slowly catching up :)

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Hi Shirley please post the poem.  If you like, post a disclaimer at the start indicating that strong language follows.  This should be ample warning to anyone whose delicate sensibilities may be to weak to deal with words on a screen.

What part of Louisiana are you in? 


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HI @Shirley Gale if would be much better if you initiated the post so that you poem stands alone.  Also make sure you are logged in; I was forced, due to the spammers, to stop guest posts from appearing without me approving them first.

To initiate a new post simply go to the Poetree and click the "start new topic" button on the upper right hand side of the page.  If you are logged in, clicking this link will start a new topic toohttp://aalbc.com/tc/forum/6-the-poetree/?do=add

I have not read your poem yet, I have to read it later when I can think about it.  Which means I'll most likely print it and read it off-line, they way I would a long form article. 

Thanks again for sharing it.

Once you post it I'll share it on social media too.

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