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,
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,
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.
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