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2013 VOF Week 2


by Susan Cruz

The harshest judge;
an unsympathetic jury.
The counsel accuses
more out of contempt than duty.

The air weighs with guilty oppression,
can barely lift my face;
I focus on a point on the floor,
waiting for it to open and swallow me into its space.

How long will this torture last?
Punishment now seems like a wanted goal,
because enduring this torture
is taking its toll on my soul.

May I seek redemption?
What can I do to mend my ways?
How do you measure and pay back
others suffering and pain?

I am my own judge and jury.
My eyes accuse me, fixed and morose.
What worse punishment can I have
than my own unforgiving soul?



Aminah's picture

Deeply moving

You have such talent Susan.
Simply majestic and meaningful - bittersweet really.

Would love to read more from you.



Klaudia Mexico's picture


This is such moving piece, congratulations!!!
Saludos desde Mexico

Klaudia González

susanncruz's picture

Thank you!

This poem speaks to what was a significant period in my life, as well as a commentary how as a girl and later a woman I often felt like I was at fault for so many things, including just being alive. Without getting too much into it, I was an unplanned child, and in many ways made to feel unwanted. Far too often I tried to do just about anything to feel acceptance, to justify my existence. This led to making the wrong decisions, heartache and losses, and an identity crisis to boot.

I focused on working with youth, to find my way, to find peace. Working with youth, who like me had lost their way, literally saved my life. I know that all those things I went through, like melting iron down only to forge it again into something else, shaped who I am today.

Susan Cruz

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