Friday, February 2, 2007

A poem: Yesterday My Friend Chose Bill Quigley

Dear Friends,
I am so proud to say MY LAWYER wrote this poem in 2004.. He is such a wonderful person! He is gentle and compassionate. None of the lawyer jokes apply to him. He said it was the night after a bunch of folks had reported to prison...he was in his bed and could not sleep. He said after beating his pillow a few times he got up and put this poem down. I cried when I read it. I didn't cry because of having to go. I didn't cry because it maybe hard. I cried, I guess, because I am just an ordinary person with lots of doubts, fears and angers...and somehow with all of that, God chose me. I know this sounds crazy, but I am grateful. Not grateful that I have to leave my husband and kids for a couple of months but grateful that God saw fit to use me somehow. And so it is for each of us. God uses us to bring goodness to the world. When we love our kids with this fierce "tiger" love, when we stand up for a friend, when we go to a homeless shelter and strike up a conversation. When we visit someone in the hospital. When we write that letter to the editor or call our all ways, in all times we bring goodness to the world and add one more drop to that communal bucket which will, by the way, overflow...I am positive of this.

I ask your prayers for Sandeep. Please hold him gently in the light. Ask God to give him peace. I am so sad to see him so scared and hurting. With all my heart and soul I love him and wish him peace and courage.

In the coming days, I will put a list out of what I can think of as far as support while I am incarserated (I know, I have to learn how to spell that word. never thought it would describe me.) If you think of something that I might miss, any thing at all, please leave a comment or e:mail me at I am not thinking real clearly somedays...forget what I said just the day before in some cases... In another post I will print the statement I read to the court. It changed a little from what I printed in the earlier post...evolved those final days, I think.

My love and praysers are out there for each of you. I can not tell you how much your notes and e:mails mean to me. Give me hope and strength when I feel I can not go on.

Yesterday My Friend Chose Prison
Dedicated to the SOA prisoners of conscience by Bill Quigley

Yesterday my friend walked freely into prison
Chose to violate a simple law to spotlight the evil
of death squads and villages of massacred people that we cannot even name
mothers and children and grandparents butchered buried
and forgotten by most, but not by my friend.

Yesterday my friend stepped away from loves and family and friends
was systematically stripped of everything, everything
and systematically searched everywhere, everywhere
was systematically numbered and uniformed and advised and warned
clothes and underwear and shoes and everything put in a cardboard box,
taped and mailed away

Yesterday my friend joined the people we put in the concrete and steel boxes
mothers and children and fathers that we cannot even name
in prison for using and selling drugs
in prison for trying to sneak into this country
in prison for stealing and scamming and fighting and killing
but none were there for the massacres
no generals, no politicians, no under-secretaries, no ambassadors

Yesterday my friend had on a brave face
avoiding too much eye contact with the stares of hundreds of strangers
convicts, prisoners, guards, snitches
not yet knowing good from bad
staying out of people’s business
hoping to find a small pocket of safety and kindness and trust in the
weeks ahead

Last night my friend climbed into bed in prison
an arm’s length away from the other prisoners
laying awake on the thin mattress
wondering who had slept there last
wondering how loved ones were sleeping
awake through flashlight bed checks
and never-ending noises echoing off the concrete floors and walls
some you never ever want to hear

Yesterday my friend chose prison over silence
chose to stand with the disappeared and those who never counted
chose to spend months inside hoping to change us outside
chose the chance to speak truth to power and power responded with prison

Though my heart aches for my friend in prison
no one on this planet is more free.

1 comment:

Rhetoric Thought said...

hi i love your lawyers poem. can i republish it in my blog.