Tuesday Poem: Report, by Sue Wootton

You can’t stopper a volcano with dissidents
though this has been tried. You can’t silence
a street by hustling your critic at gunpoint
into an unmarked police car, though this
has also been tried. Somewhere else
a daughter doesn’t return to the casa;
somewhere else a son goes down
through a scream of space or staggers the stone
stairs blindfold to the soundproof cell.
But you can’t mute what his bones will tell.
And here in the free world, here and near,
over the fence and behind your door,
somebody else or somebody dear is kicked
in the kitchen, punched in the hall; somebody close
is silenced by violence, by lies and denial
and if need be by tears. There’s blood on the walls
of the rich and the poor. Yet recoil, yet speak.
Caught: by pen, by camera, caught in thought –
tried and caught, and tried in court. Some wrongs
must be fought. No one can silence the report.

Credit note: “Report” is published by kind permission of the author, Sue Wootton. It was first published in the Otago Daily Times in 2012.

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About Sue Wootton

Sue Wootton has won several awards for her poetry and fiction, including both NZ Poetry Society and Takahe international competitions. She held the 2008 Robert Burns Fellowship. In 2013 she shared second prize in the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine (UK), and won the Cancer Council Victoria Arts Awards (Australia).  She has written three collections of poetry, a children’s book called Cloudcatcher, and the e-book short story collection ‘The Happiest Music on Earth’ (rosamirabooks.com).Her most recent publication is Out of Shape, a hand-printed artisan portfolio book of new and selected poems, released by Ampersand Duck, the imprint of Canberra letterpress artist Caren Florance. (See www.outofshape.net for details.)  

A former physiotherapist, Sue has a long-standing interest in the intersection of science and the humanities generally, and poetry and medicine in particularShe is currently writing a novel and completing a Masters in Creative Writing through Massey University, examining the portrayal in contemporary American literature of changes in the doctor-patient relationship since the 1950s.
Further information about Sue is available at suewootton.com

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