The Common Life, The Exceptional Life Poem by Dennis Ryan

The Common Life, The Exceptional Life

Rating: 4.0


Thursday, December 1,2011


I share this common life with my wife,
my sons and perhaps a few friends.
I share in their suffering, and perhaps
they too in mine.In one sense, it's
a life like any other, an ordinary life
comprised of tasks, keeping appointments,
holding out hope, trying not to disappoint.
In another it's exceptional, and I am learning
daily to cope with the exceptionality: I can't help
but share in the suffering of one of my sons
because he has been traumatized by police
violence so extreme that he developed PTSD.
(The police are capable of anything because
they have no shame.None.)My son'slife
has been "heroic" in a sense though he would
not think or say so, so I say it here for him—
for him. In the end, I'm not sure this sharing
will make a difference, but right here and now,
in testifying to the fact, as witness to the trauma,
the ptsd, it makes all the difference in the world.

Friday, March 8, 2019
Topic(s) of this poem: police,police brutality,relationships,shame,sharing,suffering,trauma,violence
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
The speaker of the poem explains how his life is both ordinary and exceptional due to the fact of having to deal with police violence, in particular the traumatizing of one of his son's by the police, by extreme police violence, intimidation and harassment.He himself has witnessed the harassment and intimidation, his wife all three, the police covering up their violence, including filing a falsified police report after the beating of their son.
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Ratnakar Mandlik 08 March 2019

The touching account of the exceptional life shared throws light on the miseries of common people due to high handedness. Thanks for sharing.

1 0 Reply
Dennis Ryan 08 March 2019

Dear Ratnakar Mandlik, thank you for reading my poem and writing to me about it. I appreciate your effort to comment on it. Dennis Ryan

0 0 Reply
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Dennis Ryan

Dennis Ryan

Wellsville, New York
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