Coercion

families gather in a place of condemnation,

weary, excited, downtrodden, in a ‘fair and equal’ nation,

look foward to a day, when they see the face of a loved one,

behind a plexiglass window framed in steel, with the aura of being ‘under a gun’,

little ones elated, of the day they see daddy’s face,

it matters not to them, they must be in this place,

just a look, a glimpse, of so much time lost,

and mothers, sisters and brothers, all pay the cost,

arrive at the gate, the car is searched,

and in the distance, the attack dogs, hungrily perched,

the car is dismantled, and questions of interrogation,

what are these pennies for? (i didn’t know i needed a reason).

reaching the entryway, a small piece of material is given,

we ask, ‘what is this for’? (no answer–excuse me for livin’),

one woman steps up to be searched for the visit,

“rub that piece of material across you breasts, ma’am”, (what? this seems illicit!),

she complies, without complaint, because the kids want to see dad,

and now, she too, has been made to feel she is bad,

the other officers gawk, they seem to be enjoying this,

some even appear they’d love to give her a kiss,

little ones stare, they don’t know of mama’s shame,

mama says to them “oh honey, the nice man’s just playing a game”,

he takes the material, and places in a machine,

the drug test comes up negative, his face gets mean,

he tells her, “no, wait, miss!!! you can’t go!” (it’s like a threat),

“you must now rub it between your legs, we’re not done with you yet!”,

the woman looks at me, her face is beet red,

we all feel helpless, in shock, we can’t believe what he said,

she takes the piece of material, and rubs it between her thighs,

he says “no not like that! higher!” (and this poor lady begins to cry),

he doesn’t apologize, or have any sensitivity that what he’s doing is rape,

his fears have swallowed him completely, 

our mouths are agape,

we all go through this process, feeling so violated, and psychologically torn,

then we force the smiles on our faces, we can’t complain or mourn,

and this is just one ingenious scheme, an obstacle, one tactic,

that divides families who have someone in prison–(yes, you’re right, it’s sick),

had i not seen it with my own eyes, how these innocent people were made to sob,

why on earth do they have these obstacles and these people in these jobs?

so the one time these people get to see their loved one in a year,

they go through the entire visit, feeling bad, ashamed, and in fear.

 

9:36 AM 7/12/2013 ©

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