Wednesday, June 23


I met Perpetua today.
Ready to die, to sacrifice all.
For the sake of a child.

Her child clinging.
Unaware of the rising trauma.
Taken away to a forsaken father.

“Renounce Christianity and you will be saved!
Your child returned to you.
Your home restored to wholeness.”

Perpetua does not flinch.
She steps forward.
Recanting the family.

Soldiers rise on their toes.
Readying for battle.
A jumping of the broomstick.

Divorcing the family that once enslaved.
She calmly faces each one.
Taking punishment for freedom.

© 2009, Terri Stewart

This is written to honor the courage and strength of a young woman who is being jumped-out of a gang.  She is doing it for her child and for God.  Perpetua was an early Christian martyr who, while imprisoned, kept her child with her for a time.  She was imprisoned for the sake of the Christ-child.  This young woman is being jumped-out for the sake of her child. 

Gangs and the fear they create are a scourge in America and it breaks my heart.  If we could fully fund education and health-care, these kids, who join gangs by the age of 7 or 8, might have a shot at turning life around.  In the long run, it is much cheaper to educate someone than it is to imprison them. 

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