Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Standing Alone

photo by Lisa Barnes

He was crying in his hospital bed.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
"I'm cold. I have AIDS,
and the nurse won't come into my room."
"I'll get you a blanket,"
I said gently.
I brought him two and tucked him in.
Later, I was pleased to see the other nurse,
sitting by his bed, holding his hand,
laughing with him,
restoring my faith in human nature.


She left her marriage
because she was being abused,
but she was not believed.
Her church community went silent,
withdrew their support.
Pale and distraught,
she walked through her days alone,
being stalked and tormented,
and shunned by her community
at the same time.


She brought sexual assault charges
to protect other women
from what she had gone through.
But it was she
who went on trial.
It was she whose past was shredded,
whose integrity was attacked.
whose testimony was questioned.
In the end, he walked free.


Well, one doesn't have to look far when it comes to incidents of social stigma. Posted for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Social Stigma.


  1. Yes. We lived through it all. And still do. HIV infected. HIV affected. Survivors of abuse... and so We observe Dec 1 World Aids Day. Thank you

  2. Humanity is far from perfect and is probably one of the most inhumane creatures on Earth. One day perhaps things will change ...but sadly not soon.

  3. Heart-felt examples of why we should care - I did my part
    I know a better world is coming

  4. Love that each exclusion includes the fightback if not the kindness. Isn't it unfortunate thaqt we don't have to look far? I hope that these days, the hand up and assistance and warm blanket is also near. Thank you.

  5. Yes, one act of kindness can touch and heal many,


  6. Have to think as I read those examples, that we, as a society, have a long way to go to become open and accepting.

  7. well, you know sometimes i feel we, the humans are on the lowest step of the evolutionary ladder in spite of science, philosophy etc etc...i love 'She' of this poem, an angel in human form...

    1. Can only agree with Sumana about the evolutionary scale comment. Great examples of injustice and truth.

  8. Sigh.. why is it that some people fail to see the pain that others go through.. this is beautifully expressed, Sherry❤️

  9. So many ways to be isolated and spurned by the world..let's always hope there is that one kind person willing to reach out a hand of care.. i think and hope there always is

  10. I was happy about the caring nurse in your first one. I cannot imagine a community shunning an abused woman. How cold. We can hope there are more carers than non-carers.

  11. Very, very sad, Sherry. You have such a kind heart, Sherry -- in dealing with people such as the AIDS patient. And so sad about the one who was shunned because she left her abusive marriage. Darn it, this should not happen! And oh, the one whose reputation was shredded because she brought suit. This makes my blood boil!

  12. Ah, yes!...We have to live through such chagrin in this society!How sad!... Perhaps, the word “unclean.” comes closest to catching the flavor. Sigh!
    Heartfelt pieces, Sherry!

  13. In your poem you speak up for them all! Much needed.

  14. Reading those verse, Sherry, with their powerful and unfortunately so common described situations of stigma makes me feel ashamed for the human race. As you give an example of some redeeming people, we have to find forgiveness in our heart for those guilty of stigmatising others and do everything in our power to change their attitudes...


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