I Judge Not
I cannot judge those who walked these streets before me,
for I am a product of today.
Nor can I do any more than acquaint myself
with the facts of the lives lived before my time.
I cannot make my way through the streets and tunnels
in any shoes other than my own,
Yet I can share the knowledge of our city's past,
when notorious men instilled fear.
Already judged by those who shared time on a clock,
those dubious souls are left to God.
The infamous players with nefarious schemes
ultimately died as all men do.
Though I tell you the tales of iniquitous men,
I deliver the truth without praise,
for I am no more than a teller of stories,
who drops facts for your entertainment.
If you, my fair patron, believe judgement is due
the gangsters whose chronicles share,
wisely exercise your prerogative to judge,
remembering we are who we are
because of the lives lived out before ours.
Betsy Westbrook Burrow
I read this poem at the Gangster Museum and I thought it was a beautiful and well written piece. I purchased a copy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.