...And My Soul Cried Out

by Nathaniel Booker, SR

As a prisoner in my own heart,
I have sat here in this 6 by 9 foot cell,
hoping against all hope and praying 
on all that is sacred to be freed 
from the turmoil that defines me.

At the age of (4) four, I'd seen things
that would make a (24) year old adult
shudder.  Degradation, molestation, 
forced penetration, mutilation, all in
the name of "Love".

Unable to express the overwhelming
sea of emotions inside of me, the light
went out, the walls went up, and the 
windows became bars of steel.  A 
prisoner in my own heart, a death
row inmate in my own mind and all
dreams of a future . . . deferred.

At the age of (6) I'd experienced things
that those responsible for my care
were either unaware of, unresponsive to,
or they simply did not care.  Sleepless
nights, days of endless agony, pain beyond
the scope of a 6-year-old's ability to understand,
and living in constant fear of another male
living rent-free-- in my mother's house . . .

And my soul cried out.

It cried for understand; that form of comfort 
that I thought would never arrive, it cried 
for acceptance, for it seemed that because
of the stains of pain upon my face that I was 
marked as spoiled and unworthy of love or 
friendship.  It screamed for the peace of 
death that I never could get in life, it screamed for 
death, but death . . . never came . . .

And my soul cried out.

At the age of (8) eight, I was a ward of the state,
a foster child if you will.  First overlooked 
when a family came, Second hand shoes and a 
third rate citizen, seeking approval from those
who'd already made up their minds that they didn't 
approve of me.  So, a prisoner in my mind, I became
a prisoner in a relatives home. Trapped by the fear
of violence that I had experienced in mass quantities,
trapped by the fear of isolation and the feeling of
always being in a dark room, with a white hot light
shining down upon me, exposing my sins, my pains,
and my fears for all to see, and for all to scrutinize.

And my soul cried out . . .

It screamed for love that I'd never know, it never came.
It screamed for the loving embrace of a mother who'd 
failed me, and who's embrace I never knew and would
never know.  It screamed for acceptance and not 
judgement, trust and not betrayal, nourishment and not neglect.
Sadly, like all of the things that I needed most in my life,
it never came . . .

And my soul cried out.

At (24) twenty-four I'd been around the world, 
to places that life had abandoned and
 hope couldn't penetrate.  I'd seen just about all 
of the lows that a certain Kind of species can 
inflict in the name of love, that species being, Man-Kind.
Alive and thriving by all outward appearances,
but afraid, trapped, malnourished and imprisoned still.

Seemingly finding the love of my life, but when you've never
had it, how do you know when you've found it, and what is
more, how do you know that it's real?  Still, living in agony,
is a blessing that the void of death does not offer, so I smiled
the smile, carried the load, laughed the laughed and lived the life.
For (8) eight years I did this; a third of my life, lived as a lie, 
"American Dream" or so it seems, the house, the cars, the white 
picket fence, but the only thing real is the picket from the fence
driven into my heart when the woman that I loved professed her
love for another . . .

And my soul cried out . . .

It screamed for death that had eluded me (12) twelve
years previously, it screamed for the bitter taste of revenge,
revenge that would serve no purpose and only produce
so much more of the agony that I'd seen in my life.  My soul 
cried out for it, but I couldn't deliver, I wouldn't deliver
that which I know so very well.  It screamed in the 
hollows of my mind for peace I've never know.  It screamed
until the echoes of my screams gained a life of their own
and now the silence is more deafening that the scream itself.

And my soul cried out. . .

And my heart gave an answer, the pain that I'm feeling, 
there are others who feel it, even if they will not admit it.
I found peace in the beauty that there are others who 
live despite the odds stacked against them and the 
weapons formed against them.  I found myself crying
for it seems the very first time because the love that 
I get must first come from within me.  I re-invented my 
heart, and I learned how to love, and by doing so I learned
how to be loved.

I bask in the peace that there are others just like me, and
I hope I can lead them to love.  It's okay to be lost, and 
it's okay to wander, as long I don't lose sight of what 
is in me.  In my mind the walls tumbles and the prison 
bars fell and I found I'm in Heaven, though I thought I 
was in Hell.  My soul is now free, there's so much joy 
inside me, happy endings are real, I no longer have doubt.
My heart sang with gladness . . .

And my soul cried out.

By: Nathaniel Booker
"Genius under Construction"

...And My Soul Cried Out by Nathaniel Booker, SR

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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