By Stacey Gledhill


For Rebel, So little time, such an impact

Join me for a moment for I have a tale to tell,
The story of a young man that I never knew very well,
Rebel was just a stranger, a chance encounter you may say,
But ten years on his tale inspires me in a very special way,
We ran in similar circles but rarely did our paths cross,
Had I never taken the time to talk, or had I not given a toss,
I would not have this treasure to share or his wisdom to impart,
I thank you, god, for guiding me to rebel, and the echo he has left in my heart,
I don’t speak of a physical encounter,
The flesh holds no such beauty to compare,
In his eyes I saw the universe and all the wonders there;
We sat alone in a kitchen as the hour grew late and still,
We spoke of how we got there and his story lingers still,
His energy enthralled me, such vibrancy and positive grace,
Alive with gratitude and wonder, such an infectious smile upon his face,
His name he told me was “Rebel” and as his story did unfold,
I came to see why he wore it with pride, a name worth more than gold;
He stood from the kitchen table, lifted his top above his head,
Turning his back to face me, I’m forever humbled by what he said,
His back told me his story before he could relay the words to me,
More scar tissue than naked flesh was all that I could see,
Long thick ridges crossed and crossed although healing was long since complete,
Bullet holes I counted, maybe three or four as I rose with respect from my seat,
I touched his back so softly, scared he still held the pain,
Overcome by the need to comfort, my touch I could not restrain,
He told me of his home land Sierra Leone, how he’d been a child slave,
He never stopped reaching for freedom although it nearly took him to his grave,
Forced to work in a Diamond mine, his spirit was all he had,
An orphaned child all alone, nothing more than a lad,
Still hope of freedom drove him on, the promise of a life that was his to shape,
Every opportunity that presented, brave Rebel tried to make his escape,
There’s no doubt of the truth in his story, he still wears the proof on his back,
Every bid for freedom met with another merciless attack;
Still spirit prevails in the darkness, and sweet Rebel finally broke free,
His wings brought him thousands of miles to the point where he told his story to me,
I trembled in awe of his journey, I hope I’ve done him the best justice I can,
I’ll never forget the look on his face as he turned back to look in my eye and say “Rebel man”

defiance, personal rebellion