Hawaii Forgiveness Project

Poetry of Forgiveness Awards
Winning Entries, 2009

presented at
International Forgiveness Day in Hawai'i
August 1, 2009
University of Hawaii

Gold Medal:

A Parent's Cry
Sharon Reed-Hendricks


I want to spend the time with you
I missed when you were small
I wasn’t always there for you
I hid behind a wall

The world was made of business
Of things I had to do
And it would cover up my fear
Of getting close to you

And if I stopped to listen
And looked into your eyes
I’d here and see the fear in me
On someone half my size

And then I could not blame you
For the way I acted out
All around was all this fear
That no one talked about

You really did not have the life
A child needs to grow
And learn to talk and feel and love
‘Cause even I didn’t know

And so I really understand
Why you don’t come around
I taught you how to build that wall
Where feelings can’t be found

So now my wall has crumbled
Exposed, I stand alone
With all these feelings here for you
But you are gone and grown

If someday your wall crumbles
Please know that I’ll be there
Together we can face the fear
Of feelings we must share


Silver Medal:

One Voice
Kim W. Hunter


Somewhere I heard that One Voice
couldn’t make a difference.
I spoke anyway.
Someone told me no one would agree
with what I had to say.
I said what I had to say anyway.
In a faint clear voice, I spoke anyway.

Someone taught me that the truth
was something to be held inside.
I spoke what I knew to be the truth anyway.
Someone told me no one would care.
I spoke anyway.

Somewhere I learned that people might lash out
in anger, pain, fear and misunderstanding
when I spoke what I knew to be the truth.
And, in a strong clear voice I spoke anyway.
Each time I spoke my voice grew
stronger and more gentle.

Somehow I learned that one voice
primes the pump of another
and that voice brings
fresh water to the surface.

And then, one day-in the distance -
I could hear one voice speaking its truth;
A faint clear voice growing stronger
and becoming more gentle
as I listened.

And One Voice joins One Voice joins One Voice joins


Bronze Medal:

Scrapes and Breaks
Malulani Jervis

Where I was wounded there is a scar
My skin is tougher and it never lets me forget

Where my bone broke
Where the excruciating pain originated
It is heavily calcified
It won't break easily again

My soul can be stronger
Only when I forgive

So I may heal


© copyright 2009, Hawai'i Forgiveness Project
and by each individual artist