cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (sending love)
As part of the Days of Action to support Bresha Meadows, currently in Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center for defending herself and her family, I've written a poem. When I tried to write about the abuse Bresha endured and what she'd been forced to do, my thoughts kept veering off into escapist fantasies. The truth is, this 14-year-old girl was forced to confront a viciousness so terrifying, most adults can't look at it head-on. I certainly can't.

If you are so moved, please share my poem (with proper attribution) and a link to the #FreeBresha blog.

To #FreeBresha Meadows, and Myself

Respect demands
I tell your story straight
exactly as it happened
exactly as brave as you were
as you had to be
through years of abuse
the gun in your face
then in your hands
to protect yourself, your family.

Is it the writer in me
that burns to revise your tragedy
to send a spaceman
silver-suited from the future
to save you from the screams?
To  unleash a dragon
fire-mouthed and dagger-clawed
to defend you, or sneak
a singing sword beneath your bed
help you sever unholy bonds?

Or is it the mother in me
who yearns to twist your tale
to happily ever after
by stroke of luck or fairy dust
hook or crook?
Anything to transform
the garbage the agencies gave you
into a swift carriage to sunnier days
those rats who betrayed you
into footmen at your mercy.

Or is it the girl inside me
the one who watched Dad
drive Mom to tears
who clapped when he clapped
thinking it some game?
Who, years later, watched him corner
a new wife, his hand raised to smack?
Screaming, running,
I lured the wolf from his rampage
but still he ruled the forest.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (bruised)

In Florida, a 12-yr-old boy is being charged as an adult for first-degree murder. If convicted, his mandatory sentence will be life in prison.

Life in prison.

He'd be the youngest "lifer" in America.

Cristian Fernandez is charged with the murder of his 2-yr-old brother, David. Earlier this year, he broke his brother's leg, supposedly while wrestling. There seems little doubt that Cristian mortally wounded his baby brother while the boys were home alone. No one is saying Cristian is innocent.

But should the legal system be treating 12-yr-olds as adults? Should they be in the adult prison population? How are they to be insulated from the vicious abuses permitted in prison? By being shunted into solitary confinement?

The system has failed Cristian and his family innumerable times. His mother (charged with aggravated manslaughter in David's death) was 12-yrs-old when she gave birth to him. His biological father has been absent since serving time for sexual assault of Cristian's mom. At age two, Cristian was found wandering naked in a hotel parking lot while he was supposedly in the care of his grandmother. The grandmother was charged with possession of drugs and neglect. Both Cristian and his mom went to foster care.

Last year, Cristian's stepfather committed suicide in front of the boys to avoid abuse charges for beating Cristian. When David's leg was broken in January of this year, Cristian's mom lied to hospital staff that it was a playground accident. She told Cristian to lie also. Nevertheless, the children were left home alone in March--David still in his cast--and Cristian beat his brother. His mother came home, found the boy unconscious, and appears to have deliberated for six hours before taking the still-unconscious child to the hospital. A doctor said David might've been saved if he'd received care more quickly.

By charging Cristian as an adult, the state of Florida forfeits this boy's life. Rehabilitation becomes a non-issue--why rehabilitate someone who will never be released? Is that even possible? How can anyone withhold from a 12-yr-old child, whom two forensic psychiatrists have determined is "emotionally underdeveloped but essentially reformable despite a tough life," the slimmest hope of redemption? Especially when no one has done right by that child, ever?

There is a petition on demanding that the decision to try Cristian as an adult be overturned. (see the last link above)

There is a Facebook page devoted to Cristian's case.

This is Cristian.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (silver teapots)
I ran across this article last week, but only now can I deal with it and not want to gouge out someone's eyeballs.

Iowa City police have decided a local man set fire to the mobile home he shared with his girlfriend. Earlier that day, he'd written her a note: If I can't have you, nobody will.

(Don't read the comments at the Press-Citizen; they're sickening. Domestic violence is SO funny! WTF.)

The guy has been in jail since the day of the fire on a domestic assault charge, with a $2000 bond. Now the police have charged him with first-degree arson, with bond set at $20,000.

I do not comprehend how setting fire to a building is criminally worse than abusing another human being. A mobile home is worth more than a woman's life? WTFityF.

Nor do I understand why there's no mention of an attempted murder charge. I can't tell from the flimsy article if the woman was in the home when this bastard started the fire, but does it matter? He clearly intended to terrorize. He had threatened to kill her. WTFityFF!


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