Joyce Chelmo

That Day - Poem by Joyce Chelmo

It starts somewhere deep in the soul
like a growl,
and when you find your voice
it becomes a scream;

'Oh My God No! '

Repeated over and over
as I fell to my knees,
holding myself.
Grief so powerful it shakes you
to the core,
when you lose someone so young.

I'll never forget the first day
I sat in the courtroom,
knuckles white as I clenched
the back of the pew in front of me.
Knowing any moment,
I would see the face of the man
who took my brothers life.
His friend and college roommate.

We hadn't even buried Bruce
before the first hearing.

The door opened,
echo cracked like thunder in my head,
hushed voices,
a door never sounded so loud before.
Nearly stopped breathing
as he walked into the room.
A boy, not much older than
my own sons,
in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit.

Everything in that room faded after that.
I heard without hearing the proceedings.
The bail was set high,
we were satisfied
with the judge's decision.

Yellow tape will never look quite the same;
somewhere in my numbness I found the
courage to go to the house
escorted by a compassionate police officer.

The tape fell in slow motion.
I froze in my steps,
not wanting to see the place
where my baby brother died.

Comments about That Day by Joyce Chelmo

  • (5/9/2006 2:19:00 AM)

    Thank you Esther. Greg, I'm not sure how I've dealt with it either.
    Bruce was my birthday baby, I addored him. He was killed by
    his college roommate. It was a tragedy for both families, the boy
    was only 18. Like the song 'dust in the wind' 'I closed my eyes
    for a moment, and the moments gone' One moment of indiscretion
    and two families were destroyed. This is why I don't drink.

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  • (5/7/2006 11:44:00 PM)

    Cannot imagine how I could have dealt with such a travesty. Was literally driven to tears the first time through, and now, a day later, on the second read, too. That indicates what an emotionally masterful job you achieved in your relaying to us, this deeply sad and unfortunate story.


    Greg XXX
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  • (5/6/2006 11:05:00 AM)

    you've described the agony well; been there differently; i understand 'No'. love to you. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 6, 2006

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