Poetic (In)justice…

My claim to fame will never be poetry. But this poem came to me in the wee hours one morning as our Walk for Truth and Justice event neared. I was asked to come up with a new poem/prayer and wanted to keep the message simple. Denis Gullickson, co-author of The Monfils Conspiracy, the book about the Wisconsin case and emcee for our event, agreed that since Trudy Baltazar and I would be leading the actual walk around the block this year for the first time past the Brown County Courthouse, St Willebrord’s Church and finally, the Green Bay Police Department, it would be appropriate to share something one of us had written. So here goes…

The Cleansing of Rain  by: Joan Treppa 

Feel the rain

Soothe our pain

With each new drop

Please make it stop


And with the chill

We seek goodwill

In loving faces

And warm embraces


Much time is lost

At a great cost

See not the changed

But what’s been gained


As time is molded

A future unfolded

Of what’s been started,

Not of which is departed


The truth is nigh

Let gones be bye

Open thine eyes

To accept this prize

Let the souls be free

Of the forgotten we


But let us pray

For those astray

In the dawning of this bright new day

That their hearts be cleansed

As they make amends


For their truths have faltered

With lives forever altered

In the dawning of this bright new day 

Let us pray… 


We typically start our trek around the city block at the courthouse but we pause briefly in front of the church entrance to reflect. A poem/prayer is read in commemoration of the five men who remain incarcerated, followed by a moment of silence.

We will never forget our first walk in 2010. We had approached the church and Denis had just recited the prayer he had chosen. Just then, the church tower above our heads chimed six bells. The moment was powerful. We could not have planned it better. It was an indication that our pleas were being acknowledged and answered in a most profound fashion. We raised our heads, glanced at each other in disbelief before looking up at the steeple. We stood there listening…and our hearts soared.

Each of our walks since have been exceptional. Our biggest announcement to date was about having acquired legal pro bono representation for the five men. It was proof of our determination and resilience and a poetic irony to this injustice.


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