The Soul’s Silent Scream

Dedicated to Honorable Judge Dana U. Wakefield

There it was.

Did you hear it?

The sound from the abyss.

Unspeakable pain borne with no


A wordless cry for help. For love.


Meaning. Security. Contact.

Under control, the Scream is a

growing ache;

wild dogs in the basement a la


Snarling, eating, snapping,

gnawing each organ,

each appendage, every synapse,

even layers of skin.

A slow death, but at least more


than the onslaught of the entire pack at once.

In the distance —

Did you hear it?

A Baby Boy Allmon made of gametes


a commercial artist and a


Told goodbye before knowing

the meaning of hello.

Honorable intent assumed.

Presumed? Exhumed? Perfumed?

Did the nurses hear my soul scream

lying in the hospital waiting to be


Or did they mistake it for my voice?

Bottles don’t hug back.

In the picture —

Did you see it?

A five year old boy

bedecked in bow tie and plaid


Mouth forming a smile

but eyes forming a scream,

Having discovered only that year

that another mother conceived,

Brought him into the world

and gave him away (to wonderful

new parents.)

Cheerful birth announcements read:

“I wasn’t expected – I was


But who is Baby Boy Allmon?

They say I cried frequently,

at least until I could be trained to

scream silently.

For the record —

Have you read it?

Soul screaming, like fine wine,

becomes more sophisticated with


Yessir, nosir. Yes’m, no ma’am. Piano


Honor roll. All-American boy.

Student leader.

Letterman. Scholarship. Awards

Poor boundaries. Molestation –

Was I that hungry to bond with


or just unsure there was a self to


Early signs of addiction to

pain killers:

thumb, food, endorphines,

alcohol, religion, sex,

Inability to commit wholeheartedly to

family, romance, friends,

career, God, or self (as whom to

love thy neighbor)

for fear of re-abandonment

(Which, therefore, happened.)

Who the hell is Baby Boy Allmon

and why won’t he stop


In your heart —

Can you feel it?

The alienation. The disconnectedness.

The rage.

The powerlessness

over life-changing decisions made

before I had

The ability

let alone

The right to agree or object.

The desperation

for one glimpse at anyone

genetically like me.

The willingness

to bankrupt myself for one hour

of honest conversation with

The two people who gave me life.

The fear

of perpetuating an unknown

hereditary medical condition.

The deep resentment

that a man whose name is preceded by

The word “Honorable”

may be content to let Baby Boy

Allmon scream for his mother


The two of them

are only commemorated by

headstones, and

The three of them stand before

The One

who champions love, justice,

orphans, and is truly

The Judge.

Can you feel anything?

Can you see anything?

Do you hear anything?

I’ve heard Baby Boy Allmon all day,

every day,

for thirty four years.

Please help me

to help him

stop screaming.

The longer we wait,

The louder it gets.