Victim, by Bonnie Joyce Hamilton

Becoming an adult in a beer bottle is small and limiting…*

Abuse from family,

Brutality, Rape.

Strange streets, poverty,

Beer Booze Drugs

Cop mentality

Fighting, Searching for calm.

Back to the skids

Jail time

No peace

Prison—

Shut up, head down

Don’t talk, fight, hold on,

Fall down, get up, do it again, again

Cornered each time.

What do I know of this?

Nothing.

Have I learned from you?

Yes.


*Yvonne Johnson and Rudy Wiebe, Stolen Life, Knopf, 1999

Bonnie Hamilton retired from teaching at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2005. She turned to
creative writing and it became a later-life passion. She self-published a memoir called
Still Here on
Friday: from fear to freedom (2018). She continues to write short stories, fast fiction, and free-verse
poetry, and enters contests sporadically.

3 thoughts on “Victim, by Bonnie Joyce Hamilton

  1. The sequence of events is a true depiction for many who land in jail. It all starts with child abuse and poverty. You are not saved by foster care, either. Thank you for this poem.

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