Summer Evening, Beaumont, a poem

illustration murder in beaumont

Summer Evening, Beaumont, a poem

 

I was not there. I am only an observer.

The four-year old on his tricycle is

dressed for the heat in loose shorts

and nothing else. His hair appears

 

disarrayed as he stares at the ground.

The back of his bare skull is as finely

carved as a newborn’s, the delicate

shadows of his shoulder bones ask for

 

touch. The clumsy chalk lines on the

pavement are from a murder and he

knows it — the blood came out last

night as the torpid sun was going down.

 

This boy has to make stories up in

his head, but the shy universe he

creates is a notion he’ll never share.

I was not there. I am only an observer.

 

The dead man was 300 pounds and didn’t

talk much, as he, too, was waiting for a

miracle. Gang members used five or six

bullets, then ran away without taking his

 

wallet, the item they wanted most of all.

I was not there. I am only an observer.

Hours earlier, the victim had left his

rented home in all-white Vidor; he told

 

how the folks there threatened to hang him,

he told how lonely it was to wake up every

day and remember where he was. He wasn’t

afraid, he said, just tired of fighting.

 

2 Comments

Filed under anger, blood, compassion, criminal, criminal behavior, criminals, death, evil, funeral, history, ignorance, karma, mortality, murder, poetry

2 responses to “Summer Evening, Beaumont, a poem

  1. This is intense and beautiful at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too many of us use that phrase (“only an observer”) to define the distance between ourselves and our neighbors. But we are all connected, all involved. You make the point nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

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