And Yet

I saw everything beginning.

The misleading evidence.

The biased jury.

Nothing was in their favor,

And yet,

They were innocent.

I saw true unhappiness for the first time.

This man who deserved to be free.

This man who had everything to live for.

He was not given a fair reason,

And yet,

He went to jail.

I saw a family crippled with grief.

Grief so powerful, they couldn’t stand up to leave.

Grief so powerful, they retreated into their own world.

This family needed help,

And yet,

None was given.

I saw years pass by.

No evidence reviewed to prove differently.

No evidence reviewed to console them.

He served his time,

And yet,

He was innocent.

I wrote this during the class that we looked at the David Milgaard case. After we had finished reading the article that was handed out, we were asked to write a piece inspired by this case. I immediately put my pencil to paper and began writing this piece. I was basing this off some knowledge I have of this case specifically as well as the limited information I get on these kinds of cases from the news. I had the first stanza in my mind already, however, I discovered that I really liked the format so I decided to continue with that throughout the poem. Also, when I began writing the first stanza, I noticed that it was the beginning of a trial, so I decided to make the stanzas follow the course of whoever is on trial as well as their family.

It inspired me by the fact that this young man spent some of the best years of his life in jail, convicted of something he never did. It was mainly the fact that he had to deal with the punishment of murder on his conscience for years, including once he was released from jail. The fact that he was unjustly sentenced really hit with me and just gave me a lot of motivation to write. It showed me that I am very blessed to have what I do and that anything could change at any moment. I felt I wanted to capture that, but it turned out to be this poem that demonstrates the journey of this man.

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6 thoughts on “And Yet

  1. Dear Sydney,

    It was a pleasure to read the piece. This poem describes human flaws so elegantly. This is why I love it as much as I do. I especially appreciate the lines “And yet/None was given.” This is so true, so raw. We see this all the time in our lives. I think there have been many times when we’ve all felt we should have helped someone but then failed to do so. Instead we were just bystanders. I think this makes us hypocrite in a way because I think we know that refusing to help someone when they need help is wrong, yet we do it anyways. I think a lot of time this is because we are afraid, especially if we know we would be the only ones that would be helping; we don’t want to stand out. I think this is why we sometimes pretend like we don’t see the people that need help. We pretend to be ignorant. Reading your poem–especially the third stanza–made me think of this. And that is how you know you’ve done something right as a poet–you’re work is capable of making people think. I commend you for this.

    I would like to offer one suggestion. I would like to see more enjambment in your poetry. This means continuing a sentence over a line break opposed to having a full sentence as its own line. For example, right now, your line says “No evidence reviewed to prove differently.” You could maybe play around with this a bit. You could try something like this:

    No evidence reviewed
    to prove

    This helps give the poem variation because you aren’t use the same pattern over and over again. I once read that it also helps avoid “a deadening sensation in the reader’s ear.” Again, variation helps prevent this.

    I do feel like you did make use of enjambment in your piece, but I would like to see it used even more!

    Overall an excellent piece. You definitely have great potential as a poet. I can’t wait to see what you will write in the future. Thanks for sharing!

    Never stop writing,

    1. Hey Sydney!
      This piece, in my opinion, is absolutely fantastic. Your writing style is moving and unique. It never ceases to amaze me and I hope that you continue to write for as long as you can. The repetition within this piece is very beautifully used. A suggestion, if I have to make one, is to maybe expand upon your/the narrator’s personal experiences with this case. But that is just my opinion and I am not very good at editing others’ work. Thank you for the opportunity to read this work.


  2. Good Morning Sydney,

    I really liked your poem, it was a very enjoyable read. I really liked the repetition, keep up the great work.


  3. Wow! This was a great poem, I really liked the repetition. Personally I couldn’t pull anything out of the David Milgaard case, so it was interesting to see what you did with it. Great Work.

  4. Sydney,
    I absolutely loved your piece! Repetition is extremely hard to properly utilize in writing but you did a great job at it, which helped add to the flow of the piece. The repetition throughout the poem created a structure to each stanza, which is important if you aren’t writing free verse poetry. Although the poem was short, you were able to get your point across and convey the plot.
    As a suggestion I would perhaps make the poem longer, though you were able to get your point across in a few lines, it would perhaps be helpful to the reader if you explored the emotions of the victim and their family a little more.
    Keep up the good work!
    – Genevieve

  5. Sydney,
    I really loved this poem! Your writing style is so beautiful and you are able to make something amazing out of anything and everything. I look forward to your future works!

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