Robin Amy Bass


People are human from the head to the toe
People are human is all that I know
People like me make mistakes all the time
Sometimes the punishment does not fit the crime

I’m not the one, who should pick or should choose
How much the other guy deserves to lose
Where does it stop? How does it end?
How do we figure out what we defend?

Thou Shalt Not Kill – we are quick to disparage.
We go to war – and collateral damage
Is measured and bottled, put in a report
Figures are easy to hide or distort

Money buys lawyers – perhaps I should mention
That conscience creates a Geneva convention
Perhaps we should just judge each case one by one
Because only the good guys should carry a gun

So when some guy stabs his wife with a knife
What does it matter? We should take his life.

We can kill Nazis ‘cause they killed the Jews
And when it’s self defense better strike or you lose
We can kill Japs ‘cause they bombed us first
When it is sanctioned, they get just desserts

Taking it further, I wonder aloud
What it was like – with that big mushroom cloud?
But history repeats and again comes around
I saw up close that large hole in the ground

On Nine Eleven, four miles from my place
People we loved – are just gone not a trace
They were just victims – and not volunteers
We’ll get revenge if it has to take years

This is what goes on – on one side of the fence
An eye for an eye is a hell of a defense
But let’s bring it down to the man in the street
Innocent victim and history repeats

Execute rapists because they deserve it
An eye for a tooth is the best way to serve it
Tell me again how the dead person wins?
Who gets to determine the extent of the sins?

Picked for some jury ‘cause I don’t watch the news
Elect the clueless to analyze clues
And If I hear something that I should not
Some judge will warn me – make sure it’s forgot

You heard the story? You’ve known it for years
We’ll change the venue, while the smoke clears

Eyeless and toothless – a world blind and dumb
Some days I wake up and pray I am numb
I love a man who has been to a war
I just can’t watch all this hate anymore

Then I am told Someone died for my sins
Think to myself, this is how it begins
Hand in my scorecard and I am forgiven
Just say I’m sorry, so I can go on living

So it’s a world filled with love and with hate
Maybe we’ll catch on before it’s too late
People are human – we all make mistakes
Some live until ninety – they watch others die
Who gets to choose? We will never know why

Innocent Victims? We’re all volunteers
Death penalty debates that go on for years
One day my time on this earth will be up
I’ll go to sleep and I just won’t wake up

How that will happen – Just how will I go?
People are human is all that I know.

Author’s Note: I was thinking about the Death Penalty, and that led to thinking about all sorts of stuff… This poem is the result…