I remember a day in July 1987
I received a tearful call from my brother's wife,
In hysterics Julie quickly blurted out
That the previous night my brother John had died.
For my mother, my two sisters, and myself
The world came to an end that awful day,
And now after more than twenty-one years
The pain and tears haven't gone away.
He was riding to work for late shift
On a bike borrowed from, Carl, his best mate,
When a drunken driver going way too fast
Saw his bicycle much too late.
Shattered and broken on the grassy verge
While the drunk driver sped straight on,
An elderly couple stopped to stay with him
Though he was dead before they reached John.
Still it was good to know he had someone there
Waiting with him till the ambulance arrived,
With broken neck and shattered spine, they said
There was no way that he could have survived.
The driver stopped that night at his therapist
Who had spent the night arguing with him,
So late the next day some good news came
When the hit-and-run driver turned himself in.
Yet it didn't help Carl who spent months in therapy
Blaming himself for lending John his bike,
Wrongly thinking if it hadn't been for him
Poor John would be here still alive.
And poor Lisa, John's young step-daughter
Suddenly found herself without a dad,
Finally taken to live in a Family Group Home
Mindful of the life that she could have had.
I remember going to identify the body
The relief I felt as we first looked upon,
A tall, pale-skinned man quite dead
Who did not look the least bit like John.
And just as I was thinking it
Cheryl said, "It's not him," with a sigh,
But even as the sweet words came out
We realised she was wrong, and started to cry.
Then came the trial, or should I say Circus?
When the driver produced his transsexual mate,
Trying to get released on an insanity plea
Though every one could see it was clearly fake.
Everyone except the judge who was wearing blinkers
And the driver was given just six months in gaol,
After twenty-one years the hurting hasn't stopped
And for those left behind the justice system failed.
© Copyright 2010
© Copyright 2016 Philip Roberts. All rights reserved.