Monday, July 15, 2013

Poetry—For Trayvon

For Trayvon
After the Verdict
July 14, 2013

In the end they stole you,
            every last one of them,
            the martyr builders
            and the bastards alike.

They poured you out
            like water from
            a swamped boot
            and replaced you
            with the merchandise
            of their own longings,
                                    and projections.
A handy flagstaff from which to hang
                        their ideologies           
                        snapping in the gale
                        that they created.

But you were just a goofy,
            kind of sweet kid
            just trying to get along
            no angel, no thug.

You took the time to make a friend
            of the big girl with the
            funny accent
everyone else mocked,
And you also toked some weed—
what a shock!
            mugged like a rapper
            on your cell phone,     
                        and brushed up
                        a time or two  
                        against John Law.
You played football and video games,
            danced, laughed
            and flashed that little grin.
If truth be known,
            you probably got beyond
            third base with that pretty
            little girl friend.

So what ?
            It doesn’t matter now.
            It all ended with a tussle
            and a pop on  dark night.

Then you were stretched out
            flat on your back
            surprise frozen on
            your face—
                        an empty sack of meat.

Now you belong to them.
            You have no say.
            Those who loved you,
                        hated your existence
                        on the planet,
                                     and all of the users.

Maybe better you should have been
            capped on the South Side
            of Chicago on a busy weekend
            where all you would get
            would be a two minute stand-up
            under a street lamp on Channel 5,
                        a quick  shot of your wailing mom,
                                    the posturing of a local preacher.
Then they would put you in the ground
            still owning your own corpse.

—Patrick Murfin

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