Robert Sand: Restorative Rewrite

Robert Sand: Restorative Rewrite

Humpty Dumpty
Adapted by Robert Sand

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

So even with the king’s command,
The horses of course did not have hands.
And asking of them to fix and to mend,
Most surely could not create a good end.

And using only men to aid
Was doomed to fail, I’m afraid;
Seeing what’s broke, we must work in tandem
To use just men, seems utterly random.

To fix the hurt requires a team,
With shared commitment to a dream.
And though it might seem like a chore,
Great things take place when we restore.

So, Humpty, please do not despair,
Your community will offer care.
And provide you aid throughout the ordeal
With love and support and the chance to heal.


The stories we tell children influences their thinking and who they become as adults. So many of our children’s stories are ghastly. Think about that poor baby getting rocked on the treetop. This is my first effort at rewriting, or perhaps, Righting a familiar poem. I like to think of this submission as an invitation to others to have fun and try some rewrites on their own.

Robert Sand is the Founding Director of the Vermont Law School Center for Justice Reform and a former elected prosecutor.