Arrested Innocence
 
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Arrested Innocence - by Swati Chandran

She brought him to this park, warily the first time
Her son, whose mind had for long ceased to grow,
At odds with his body, now that of a man
With the innocence of childhood, his face all aglow 

Awkwardly approaching the children around
Asking them if they would let him play too
The words were garbled, an effort to speak
His gait always clumsy and his face askew 

Children can be cruel, but their hearts are so pure
At first they harassed him with sadistic glee
But soon he was just another happy child in the group
His mind was arrested but his soul was so free 

It all happened one evening, sometime in May
He was playing at the park, just that once until late
Spotted a familiar looking woman in the distance
Heading in a hurry for the nearest exit gate 

Thinking it was his mother, he ran towards her
Shouting in his own noisy language of fear
Scared he was being left behind on his own
His arms were flailing, his cheeks drenched in tears 

It was dark, she was facing the other way around
So he grabbed at her dress to get her attention
Fearing the worst, she turned, screaming in horror
Suddenly, it was too late for any explanation 

They took him away to the local asylum
Called him violent and dangerous to society at large
Shock treatments and drugs to keep him sedated
The sparkle in his eyes, now just a distant mirage 

His mother still comes to the park sometimes
Alone in her sorrow, her helplessness and pain
The children are playing, the sounds are the same
But for her and her son, everything has changed!

Copyright @ Swati Chandran

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