i watched, astonished
how many people had crowded
into the school gymnasium.
ones that normally
wouldn’t speak to the man
next to him on a regular day.
this wasn’t an ordinary day though.
this diverse community of citizens
some old, some young,
the group of punk rockers
with hair lined like a rainbow of colors
another group near them,
with their tan business suits still on
men fresh in from work that day
mud staining their jeans from labor
in construction, on the farms.
all of these different people
of entirely different thoughts
and line of work had gathered.
there was a new comer to the community.
enough to cause everyone to band together.
the leader of the town meeting
called the room to attention over his mic.
room filled with silence as he began to speak
of the invader who appeared the day before.
fresh out of prison, it could be anyone’s child.
he was a registered sex offender.
the sounds of disgust bounced off the walls.
united, the leader had spoken.
united, the entire community
could rail road this man out of this town.
i remained straight faced, lost in thought
of my own children, hoping
that this meeting would lead to some good.
even if it led to an angry mob,
that thought didn’t bother me either.
i knew the man they spoke of.
the social disease that threatened
everyone’s world. everyone seemed
to speak at once, and i realized
no matter anyone’s difference of lifestyles,
the would not allow this waste of space
to dwell among us, as if he deserved a
normal life in an abnormal community.
i was relieved.
@ donetta sifford 7-31-2013
Written for: Trifecta
This is non-fiction. The beginning of summer a registered sex offender took up residence in our small community, where he has family. He had caused a train wreck of lives before leaving, only to land in prison in PA. for the same crimes. Upon release from prison, he had headed back to this small town, where he considered home. Thankfully, the community did band together to protect our children and make everyone aware of who this man was for the ones too young to remember. Thank you.