by Robert James

WHO truly believes the pedophile
or sex offender is ever truly cured,
capable of rehabilitation,
incapable of repetition
of their ghastly crime?

Even as the most ardent supporters,
convinced that no harmful intent
would again corrupt their soul,
could we in good faith
leave our children alone with them,
secure in our hearts and minds,
assured of their safe return?

I think not.

And so it came as no surprise to me,
among the balloon and birthday cake,
the children's smiling faces, laughter,
when Barney the purple dinosaur,
his teeth glinting in the light from the candles,
leaned ever so slightly forward
and bit off little Mary Dowdall's head.

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