By Tom Davison
Enduring life without you - backpacking alone Attempting to bury my memories deep in the woods Deeper into the southern Ohio woodlands than ever before Three days without human contact - solely the old trees for company No trails here - only faint paths left behind by skittish animals Staring into the distant woods - entrenched within a prayer-like daydream Yearning for you - my partner - my beloved When without forewarning - there you are My beloved redbird Some declare that you - the cardinal - the redbird Harbor the spirit of loved ones lost Reappear as a messenger - harbinger - guardian Others call it foolish to believe in you Are you a visitor from the heavens - or simply a feathered friend? How can I be certain? My beloved redbird I want to acknowledge your divine origin - trust in your purpose Here - in this chapel of nature - where the deepest peace abides I want nothing more than to have faith in you - tiny messenger - to truly believe But a small part of me remains distrustful - uncertain Why must I doubt - why can’t I believe fully I fear the voices of ridicule My beloved redbird No - stop! Please don’t take flight - I take it back - I didn’t mean it There are no doubts remaining in me - I promise you I believe in you - recognize you - perceive you My Beloved Dedicated to the memory of Pat Duty (1939-1995)
Dr. Davison is teaching at two all-male prison facilities in Northern Ohio. He has been deeply moved by his interactions with incarcerated students and has been motivated to create poems and short stories about these experiences. Thomas has started a non-profit Entrepreneurship Services for Felons (ESF) dedicated to providing free one-on-one support services for felons.