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Sunday November 28th

Prisoner: A poem for Pat Donohue

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Former Assistant Provost Pat Donohue worked closely with the Prison Outreach Program at the College.

Maleak Branch, 39, is an inmate serving a 30-year sentence at the New Jersey State Prison.

Branch is a pen pal with Christine Fogler, an adjunct history professor at the College. While Branch did not know Donohue personally, he was inspired by his story. The following poem was written by Branch as a eulogy to Donohue.

Patrick Donohue, a stranger

Whose identity has just been made known to me

By Maleak Branch

Age 50- Donna, Patrick James, Catherine Mary (wife, son, daughter)
Members of his grieving family
The College of New Jersey
The Bonner Center
Greg Grant Academic Sports Academy
Institute for Prison Teaching and Outreach
Are just a few places where he dedicated his time and energy
To the people faithfully

Today through my writing I eulogize
A stranger whose identity has just been made known to me

Sounds like knowing you would have been
A pleasure- would have been
Proud to call you brother,
Like your real brothers, Peter and Jimmy

Speculations attached to the death
Were noted as “job related stress”
Who knows
When each person’s time comes
How, when, where, why, or who
Will be nearby, when it’s time to go…
No judgments on how or why you left

From your arrival to your departure
You held many titles
I think the most important being
“Husband and Father”

No one knows about
The amount of time on Earth
Allotted, and so knowing you
And mourning you
Remains with all who are left brokenhearted
To Friends and Family: Do not allow
His way of departure to be the focus
Point of his rich life,
Even in death he is teaching

For example:
Patrick Donohue, a stranger whose
Identity has just been made know to me
Inspired me to write and
“Thank him for being a Great Man.”


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