What course brought Otto Warmbier to his death,
A youth who ought to see the world expand
On possibilities not choked of breath.
He made an errant turn upon life’s journey—
But for the grace of God there too I went—
Into such a dark wood that no attorney
Availed of light proclaimed him innocent.
Mischance—what happenstance, what peccadillo
Should justify such sentence from a State?
Deprived all comfort save the resting pillow
Familial affection gave to fate.
He died, after severe egregious trauma,
Knowing—or feeling, rather—love held firm,
But what the world may view a petty drama,
The soul of consciousness leaves cause to squirm.
Love overrides the call for secrecy;
Transparent government a worldwide aim—
Though such a sacrifice self-seekers see
“Collateral” upon their road of shame.
It was a kind of commerce brought him down,
And brought to Otto Warmbier’s family cause
To hate the rule of law, and with a frown
Consider love’s lamb slaughtered by those laws.