You...plus two - in memoriam
The is written in memory of the victims of two separate, unrelated (so we are told) murders of a total of 5 women on Harlem Street in a section of Dorchester, which is part of Boston in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of the United States of America on the planet Earth. Victims: Stephanie Emile (21) and Judith Emile (23), sisters, were found dead on November 14, 2011. Victims: Sharrice Perkins (22), Genevieve Philip (22), Kristen Lartey (22) , friends, were murdered August 12, 2012. One young woman survived the August 12th massacre. I do not know her name.
I did not know any of these young women but I have been blessed to live have memories of my early twenties. It never occured to me that I would not survive my twenties. I am a mother and a grand and a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a human being and this and all the other murders break my heart, rock my core and hurt my spirit. I hope the victims find peace in your rest. I pray that those of us who survive find a way to help young people especially those young men who have found killing to be a solution and a response, to find another way.
You…plus two - in memorium
#1 – Beware
Sometimes you just don’t want to go along for the ride.
Listen to that voice that whispers, “Don’t go, stay in tonight.”
Pay attention when something doesn’t feel quite right.
Oh, my sister, why didn’t you heed that voice?
Some friends can’t accompany us on our whole journey.
Your roads forked, you chose different paths.
You can remember them fondly but you should never rejoin.
Oh, my daughter, why didn’t you stay away?
Some thrills are only meant for movies/books/video games.
Not for real life, not on your street, not on any street anywhere at all.
Not to actual people.
Oh, young woman, why did you get in that car to go to that place you didn’t belong?
Sometimes you have to say no, nada, nyet
No matter how fiercely they push you, plead with you, tease you.
Be a square; go nowhere with them.
Oh sweet angel, why couldn’t your fly away?
Some people are not the people you should choose
No matter how long you’ve known them.
Some parties you should not attend
No matter that people you think you know will be there.
Some chances you should not take.
Some choices you should not make.
Oh, children beware the company you keep.
Evil has a long memory, an infinite reach and
a fierce appetite for the young, the young, the young.
#2 – He.
You…plus two…the shooter decided when he unloaded.
He lacked precision.
He lacked imagination
He couldn’t envision a different life.
He did not embrace his chance
to escape and be different if not more.
He does not understand that living well is the best and only true revenge.
Not living underground stuck in a compound of mere blocks and self-prescribed limits.
He imagines he is a king but he owns nothing but guns and cowardice.
He earns nothing but fear and a looming deadline with death.
He builds nothing, plants nothing, reaps nothing -
He hurts only his people and other people who look like him
And eventually himself as he reaps what he sowed.
Be banished forever murderer:
To clean nuclear waste,
To lands stripped of life.
To places where no one knows your name or speaks your language.
Whose food you cannot swallow and whose water is scarce and poisoned.
You who could not aim straight for the one you intended (not that she deserved to die)
You couldn’t stand up like a man and fight face-to-face, hand-to-hand.
You have no boundaries, no decency and no defense.
Whoever you are.
You aimed for one
But took two more
And injured a third
And stained a city
And caused mothers and fathers,
Brothers and sisters,
Neighbors and strangers to cry.
#3 – Who?
Are we never to have fun?
Are we never to gather?
Never throw a party?
Attend a family barbecue?
Is there safety in numbers?
Safety at school?
Safety at home?
Safety in the car?
Safety on the T?
near or far?
Where is our safety?
Where do we belong?
What is the password?
What secret keeps us strong?
Who are our protectors?
Where can we grow/blossom/bloom?
When will someone champion us?
Are we groomed for doom?