Photo Challenge# 103 – Innocence a Commodity



The shadow spread

In every direction

Hidden for the most

Ignored by many

Because innocence was now a commodity.

Those who complained of the shadow

Were scoffed at,

Disbelief and ridicule dominated.

So the shadow thickened

As innocence became a commodity.

Lies and secrets allowed it to exist

Denial and closed doors concealed it

It lurked and infiltrated

Under cover of darkness

Under the guise of God’s love

Innocence became a commodity.

When called to account

They looked the other way

Said it could, didn’t happen

Shuffled the deck,

For innocence was a commodity.

Sins were committed

The paradox of Gods love

As the perpetrators of evil

Blessed and violated the meek

For innocence is a commodity.

In communities parents wept

Their children damaged forever

Those responsible indifferent

Not particularly interested

For innocence was a disposal commodity.

In a house in a quiet respectable street

The shadow darkens over an aging woman

Who weeps from pain and abandonment

Recalling a time long ago when

Her innocence was a commodity.


Written for:

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46 Responses to Photo Challenge# 103 – Innocence a Commodity

  1. Lyn says:

    Beautifully written, Michael. I watched every day’s proceedings of the Royal Commission. The constant, “I have no recollection of that” disgusted me. “I was kept in the dark,” made me sick to the stomach. They seem to forget that although they can lie under oath and fool man, God Almighty sees and knows every thought before they think it. One day there will be a reckoning when they stand before the throne of God. There will be no mercy shown to them.

    • Thank you Lyn. Just the other day a friend and I were discussing the very same thing that if there is a next life there are many who thought they had a free ticket are going to get their comeuppance. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  2. mandibelle16 says:

    You write beautiful poetry. I’m sad to say there is truth in your words – “innocence [can be] a commodity.”

    • Thank you Mandi, the truth of it all and most terrifying aspect is that this is going on in every country and within every religion. Thanks again for your lovely comment.

  3. This is hauntingly sad and a very powerful poem, Michael.

  4. Mandy says:

    As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Michael, this is a difficult read. However, you’ve done an incredible job writing, in a very visceral sense, of what is hiding in plain sight in every corner of the world. When sex abuse is perpetrated by those “under cover of darkness, under the guise of God’s love…”, oh the damage that incurs–as stated in your final lines, showing that the aftermath of abuse never end.
    Recently a Vatican official told newly appointed bishops that they have no obligation to report instances of clerical sexual abuse, as it’s the responsibility of the victims and their families. I call that promoting pedophilia. Thank you, Michael, for this insightful, powerful post.

    • Thank you Mandy I am sure your experiences must have been harrowing and I appreciate you taking the time to comment on this post. And yes it never goes away, that for me is the greatest sin of this whole business. Victims spend their entire lives with these experiences forever in their minds. Thank you again for your lovely comment on this poem….

      • Mandy says:

        Thank you, Michael, for raising awareness and keeping this topic out from under the rug.

      • Its in our faces over here at present with the Royal Commission and with the head of the Church in Australia making appalling statements as to what he did and didn’t know about priests in his charge…..Thanks you for your comments I appreciate all you do in this cause too.

      • Mandy says:

        We’re all in this together ☺️

      • Indeed we are, let’s think our collective actions can bring about change. I hear there is an American lawyer taking the Vatican to court.

      • Mandy says:

        A lot of people are watching…

  5. rosemawrites says:

    Haunting. Melancholic. So well-written, Michael. The meaning of your subtle poem just makes me cringe. Because this is so real. So true.

  6. Wow! This is a powerful piece, Michael. Plus sad. Plus true. And it just goes on . . .

  7. “It makes it no less painful to read in your haunting and evocative words, ‘unholy’ truths we knew in Canada publically by 1989 (although investigations had happened in the 1970s) because of the Mount Cashel Orphanage, and to our shame, ignored for too long at the native residential schools.
    No child should loose their childhood; no child should have innocence ripped away.
    You have been doing an excellent job keeping your country’s royal commission in the public consciousness through your incredibly moving poetry. Thank you.”

  8. Such sadness, so well written my friend.

  9. wildchild47 says:

    This is such an evocative and haunting piece Michael – the repetition of the words “innocence is a commodity” …. it reinforces the atmosphere – and the closing lines …. sentiments that no matter how much healing victims are able to bring to bear in their lives ….. they will always be affected is true.

    As Mandy has said – as well as so many others – this is a very powerful and disturbing poem – but it is much needed – and you have used the photo prompt image to great effect.

    I have to add – as a victim of childhood abuse – violence and sexual – I can say that this resonates so personally – that I feel like that elderly lady …. weeping.

    • Thank you Pat, I suspected you may have been a victim too. And revelations are one thing but they don’t stop the trauma from coming back to you from time to time if not everyday…..that to me is the greatest crime in all this, the victims receive a life sentence.

      • wildchild47 says:

        yes …. your “suspicions” were right …. I’ve just never publicly wrote or “spoke” the words before …. but it just feels like the right time ….

        and once again, I applaud your sensitivity … you are a man of many gifts and talents 🙂

      • Thank you I wish you well with your story… you think you can write it?

      • wildchild47 says:

        It has been feeding on my soul for about 2 years now …. writer interuptus … because every time I start a new blog or trash an old one …. I end up stopping dead in my tracks …. caught – literally choking on myself …. I had thought maybe I’d be able to write it as “fiction” (I was always a fiction writer not a poet) – but I’ve come to realize that I can’t make up a story about my story …. so I suspect that I’ll be venturing yet another blog – because I can’t conceive of it in book form – maybe, maybe then I’ll be able to actually set myself a little bit freer … and then write stories that are a little less dark? I don’t know … but I think it’s time ….

      • Good that you do see it that now you can think of your story.
        Have you read Mandy’s?

      • wildchild47 says:

        Not yet …. but I’m planning on buying her book – have read so many reviews – and in the past, I’d slip into her spaces and read – occasionally comment – and now, I’m following her new space ….. have you read it? her book?

      • Yes I have. Excellent example of courage and bravery as I know it was not easy….

      • wildchild47 says:

        no – it isn’t – and I’ve recently told Mandy on her new space that I admire her courage, strength and determination – and even as she mentioned, she doesn’t necessarily feel this way and questions her reasons for blogging in a new way now, it’s other people, people like her – that make the trauma of feeling so alone in what has happened – well, it makes it easier to manage.

      • Yes I agree I think she does a wonderful job in reaching to others and offering them support and encouragement.

      • wildchild47 says:

        she does indeed 🙂

  10. julespaige says:

    I cannot recall at any one time when some portion of the world was not at war.
    And innocence drain from the faces of those suffering as if no cork could ever be found to stop the gravitational flow of all that negativism.

  11. Susan Langer says:

    As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, your poem give voice to hundred of thousands of us. It is beautifully and powerfully written. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  12. Bastet says:

    This is such a powerful write Micheal and I think that the repetition throughout the poem … Because innocence was now a commodity … in its variations ups the tone of the poem dramatically holding the readers attention. Thank you for choosing this difficult theme to high-light this terrible problem that seems to linger in dark corners throughout the world.

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

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