“You’d better not write a poem
about this,” my daughter warns,
only half-joking. She’s just visited
her cousin in prison, a young man
she’s never been really close to
but whom she’s known all his life.
“Where’s my pen?” I joke back,
but I wonder what she must think of me,
a guy who exploits private tragedies
for the sake of entertainment?
Someone you can’t trust
to honor sensitive subjects, the secret heart?
Sammy was in for armed robbery
but his parents hoped
he’d seen the error of his ways,;
he’d never been evil, after all,
just a kid who’d made some bad choices,
got mixed up with the wrong friends.
What kind of poem
was she afraid I’d write?
Whose trust was she afraid I’d betray?
Charles Rammelkamp edits The Potomac – an online literary journal, and is the Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, MD, where he lives. His latest book is a poetry collection called Mata Hari: Rye of the Day published by Apprentice House (Loyola University).