The Voice Issue 32: October 2017 - Page 19

19

I heard

I heard

That a biracial boy

An eight-year-old boy, just a baby,

Learned the hard way when his life was strangled out

In front of a crowd of teenagers

That to trust is to tie your own noose.

I heard

That the police chief said

About the teenagers who watched

“Kids will be kids

Mistakes happen

Nobody is to blame.”

Tell me

That 15-year-olds don’t know

You need air to breathe.

Ropes are for tire swings,

Not the necks of boys who had barely begun to live

And picnic tables are for lunch,

Not attempted murder.

- Sarajaney, Sheldon, VT

Livia Ball, Essex Junction, VT