A Church Cookout

Hamburgers, hotdogs, and gospel fill the air among the apartment buildings
Everyone’s welcome
We were young
My brother and I
Too young probably
We were at That age where you mirror your surroundings
At that age where the motto was monkey see monkey do
We were playing tag in that poverty stricken park
But it might have well as been Six Flags
That’s when we saw him
That boy
Couldn’t be more than 4 years older than us arguing with someone I call the dark man.
Heated words with loud movements
The boy hollers I’m done hoping to end the interaction
But Done with what i question now.
A decision he made in the past
A choice that he wish he hadn’t made like the others
something that can’t be escaped
The boy seemingly finished with the exchange of vulgar vocabulary grabs his bike and rides off
But you don’t turn your back on the dark man
5 hollow tips make a guest appearance in his chest
Me and my brother only a stumble away from the dark man’s wrath
We stood there frozen, confused and unsure of what to do
Was this real?
So we stood there too young to understand the concept of the link between violence and death
Too young to understand that the only difference between us and him is a a handful of forced decisions
Too young to realize the capacity of evil some hold
The dark man slinks back into the mesh of terror, right where he belongs
Our mother’s shrill of concern pierces through the air like shattered glass scraping the pavement
We all run inside and wait for the so called heroes to arrive
Tape it, Chalk it, Bag it
The usual routine
Only a 10 hour investigation
Another cold case
Another church cookout

Darius Noel

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