The Strange Case of Frances Ingles

Written by: Girish Gokul

I felt that I had to write a poem to understand what Frances Inglis must have gone through 
after reading an article by Hassan Suroor by the same name in the papers dated Jan 
29,2010. Perhaps the concept of absolute justice needs to be reviewed.




"I did it with love in my heart, for Tom"
Gave him a lethal dose of heroin, sent him home...
Could not go to Court to take permission,
"Could not bear the thought of Tom
 Dying of thirst or hunger."
Frances Inglis, the condemned mother, 
Did what she had to do.

I wonder.. could I understand, or even hope to know,
The pain, the horror and her suffering.
A son whose life began within her,
Now lay in front of her, not seeing, not feeling.
Her son, she must have seen him grow, with love and pride,
Now she had to lead him one final time,
Away from her, from the suffering inside.

Is it not enough that her son lay in front of her?
Could not speak nor move nor sense.
And all that was his, she bore in her heart immense.
She must have prayed, suffered and cried,
Pleaded with Lord, holding Tom's hand by his bedside.
Time must have ticked ever so slowly...
Memories spilling over, tears stopped long back, marks left dried,

The pain must have seeped through,
As the helpless awareness dawned forever.
She must have treasured every moment past,
He must have played,smiled,danced and cried,
Collecting those happy thoughts,one by one, little by little,
Happiness dissolving into grief, grief dissolving into love...
She acted out of the love inside.

Time passes on and times to come might throw up
A faint remembrance of this mother's act
Guilt loses its meaning and accusations hold not any anger.
We all knew Tom, yet knew him not as you did,
Our rules, Our beliefs,We must have torn you inside 
But you did what you had to do.
Frances Ingles, you did the hardest thing of all,
You followed your heart true. 

Dear condemned mother, Tom's suffering was yours,
You acted like a mother, heart overflowing with pain
Our balance that we have lost, we will take some time to regain.
We judge you with a broken scale,
Knowing not that justice cant measure Love...
We will take some time, grow up a bit,
Question the act, ponder on it, your candle will be lit.

A day will come, we will learn to love...
Then set out to seek a new understanding
That life does turn hard at times and when its tough to decide
We will think of you and do some soul searching.