He told his story at the meeting
And I was okay
I really was
It was awful
The things he described were horrible
But I should be used to that by now, shouldn't I?
I've heard so many.
Why does each one etch itself into my heart the way it does?
Why do I see the child
Feel his pain
Need somehow to protect him?
And yet, I sit with solemn face and nod from time to time
Not wanting to cry
Stifling the urge to yell with rage at some unknown priest
Some awful man
Some evil thing dressed in the robes of God
Who decided to destroy a small boy
I wanted to rush to him
And tell him how sorry I was
And hold him and make it better
But we can't do that
Not in this society
We must sit politely and nod our heads and say how sorry we are that it happened
When we're not just sorry that it happened
We are injured ourselves as the child was injured
Helpless to stop it as the child was helpless
Anguished beyond comprehension
As we sit quietly in our chairs
Not wanting to make it worse
Not wanting to trigger emotion
Don't you find it funny tht we can tell our stories so calmly, as if they happened to someone else
Far more likely to cry at another's story than at our own
And for three days I have carried that child with me
The eyes of that priest
Have seen them day after day
It won't go away
Oh, I know it will eventually
It's place to be taken by another, and then another
So many stories
So many boys
So many lives
And yet there is a silence so still
Why can't they hear the screams?
I hear them every day
Why do I keep my silence
Knowing that, when I do start to talk about it
The subject is quickly changed
Some day in some great crowd I shall stand up and shout it out
"Some boy is being raped right now....some little boy who cannot help himself....and no one cares....not one damn person cares."
And then go on my way, being thought some sort of weirdo on the streets
I'll break, I know
I'll hear another story and I'll start sitting people down and getting in their faces and making them listen
Because I cannot bear to hear the story of one more little boy
One more little innocent boy
And how he lost his innocence
And spent to rest of his life trying to understand why
I'm healing now, and I wasn't sure I would.