T H I R T Y

Door knock  Push  Fittin’ to fight

You took  You owe  Hold the gun

Wrassling to the floor  Pulled punches

Do something  Shoot  Slump  Run


Thirty seconds.


That face. Filled with smile, 

big, boyish, fuzzy cheeked.


“I was born to be a good  

role model for my younger siblings, 

I was steered away 

from being a family man

to a fighting and angry man.”


I won’t know him as a man,

See no anger in him as a boy.

Unformed. Uninformed. 

A seedling only beginning to sprout.


Those thirty seconds,

now thirty years.


The sentences weigh heavy on me,

not the seconds or the years- 

the sixteen, 

seventeen turned eighteen

spent being a boy 

sitting at a desk

writing a song of himself.


Thirty years.


I was born 

to be a good role model,

I was steered away 

by someone else’s beef,

she gave me the gun,

told me to shoot,

I’ve got no fight in me,

he won’t be a  family man

I won’t either.