Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A War of Violence - For Silvia Solorzano


One of my most beloved friends is a feisty social worker from Nicaragua who used to be my colleague at the San Francisco Rape Treatment Center. Silvia Solorzano went on to help immigrants seeking asylum from atrocities in their home countries and to work as a therapist at San Francisco's Mission Mental Health Center. This woman, who has cared for so many of the indigent poor of our city, has suffered incredible pain.

On January 7, 1998, her 37-year-old son, Daniel Solorzano, was outside a corner store in San Francisco's Mission District, when a car drove by and the passenger in the car shot at a man standing bedside Daniel. Somehow, the bullet ended up hitting Daniel. After thirteen days in ICU at San Francisco General Hospital - and over two hundred transfusions of blood later, this dear young man died, leaving behind a bereft family which included two children, ages 7 and 8.

San Francisco's Homicide Division tried to find the assailant, without success. Silvia wrote an impassioned "Letter to the Murderer of My Son" which was printed in the San Francisco

A few years ago, news finally surfaced about Danny's killer. A man, incarcerated for immigration violation, had told another inmate he was responsible for the crime. Eventually, he
is supposed to be brought to San Francisco for trial. Poor Silvia, it is twelve years later but, perhaps, she will feel some sense of closure if this man is held responsible for the loss of her son. May Daniel rest in peace.

Unending Violence

An eye for an eye,
And a tooth for a tooth,
Cry warring gang members,
Destroying our youth.

Some are off fighting,
In distant Iraq,
But even at home,
You must watch your back.

The streets are not safe,
Nights are rampant with crime,
Children are dying,
Not yet in their prime.

What a horrible thought,
An eye for an eye,
A gunshot rings out,
Then, a mother’s sad cry.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.


  1. such a sad incident...
    the poem is beautiful

  2. 12 painful years is a long time. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.

  3. How sad! My heart goes out to this family! I can't even imagine how devastated they are.

  4. How cruel life is. This story makes me cry and think of a friend of mine who recently told me she had been sexually abused by her father... These thigs which so often happen to 'the others' are actually so near us...

    Warm hug my friend.

  5. very sad incident
    hope she gets justice
    nice poem

  6. Anonymous4:13 PM

    A deep bow in respect of you and the way you write. Reminds me a bit of the two liquides, oil and vinegar, maybe for a short while they might become one, yet seperate and remain always two, maybe a bit the same with truth, may take time, yet will surface again.

    daily athens

  7. a deeply affectionate tribute and compassionate gift for your friend.
    a mother knows a mother's loss.

  8. Oh Carmen, What a sad story. Twelve years of heartache but perhaps justice will finally be served.

    Your poem is sad but beautifully written.

    I received your letter and autograph for your book today. Thank you so much. It makes the book even more special.


  9. magiceye -
    I'm glad you liked my poem. I just was with my friend, Silvia, tonight. She was touched at the responses to my blog.

    Shiju Shugunan -
    It has been so hard to see this beloved friend's
    pain all these years. I cannot imagine losing a child at all but, in such a violent, senseless
    way, it is even more difficult to accept.

    likeschocolate -
    Silvia and her husband went to grief groups and have talked to therapists but she tells me the pain is always there.

    Dulce -
    You're right - these tragedies often happen very
    close to home. So many instances, such as child sexual abuse, we don't hear about - but I certainly did in my 21 years of working in the field.

    sm -
    I'm just trying to be a friend and as much support as I can to this dear friend. She has always been there for me.

    ρομπερτ -
    Your words are most kind, Robert. The wheels of justice are turning slowly but I do think, once this man serves his time in Arizona for illegal immigration, he will be extradited to CA to stand trial.

    Dianne -
    I think you are right. As a mother, one can certainly relate to the anguish of the loss of a child.

    Joanna -
    Sorry it took me so long to get that autograph to
    you. My hospitalization interfered!

    Glad you liked today's sad poem.