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Sunday, November 16, 2014


by JeanMarie VanDine

Ron Chapple/Getty Images

Another Saturday night
someone dies
in this welt of a town.
Black, brown.
Someone goes down.
Someone’s prized son
never reaches twenty-one.
Like the crow of the rooster,
the call comes before the sun rises.
Beacons glare in black puddles
on a balmy summer night.
Rage plays like an oldie,
under a skipping needle.
Brothers, like broken glass,
can’t mend themselves.
Mothers can’t restrain
their young,
pit bulls yanking
on choke chains.
Tears fall, fade
like chalk marks
on asphalt.

JeanMarie VanDine lives in Southern California, and has taught English in urban high schools—where she has witnessed the loss of many young men—due to violence.