The Child On The Lawn

The Child on The Lawn

Those responsible for his death cringed in fear
On the day that the child on their lawn did appear
Was his hair in corn rows, or a fuzzy black crown?
Were there tears in his eyes when held his head down?

Some of us keep histories
The tales of our tribe
Oral legends intertwine
With the parts of our mind
Containing genetic memory
Of the trauma, we’ve shared
Grievous wounds to our psyches
Handed down by forebears

They say that the child on the lawn
Is one of those such things
When tears well in his dead eyes
Then the living’s eyes sting
And the weight that he brings down
Upon their hearts is hard to bear

The ghost of the tragedies
Our ancestors endured
Has escaped through our wounds
Now he’s walking the streets
Though the guilty may hide
Their sanity is unwound
By the sound of his
Telltale Heartbeat

Those who injured him grievously cower in fear
Terrified that the child on their lawn will appear

When the child on the lawn waved his fabulous wand
Playing games with his fervent imagination
Weaving tales without jails where he’d play and run free
Did they grow terrified? Mistake it for a gun?
Did they call the police on someone’s
Twelve-year-old son?

Now the ghost on their lawn is enacting his rage
Clammy hands clawing up as he climbs from the grave
Craving equality, as he did in his life
When his enemies told tales with their backstabbing knives
The same bigotted tales that they told in his life
Weaving stories to ensure his kin would not survive
Calling him superpredator, fettering him in chains
Tossing his corpse out in a pauper’s fire heap of remains

Now the child on the lawn sings his frightening songs
Threatening to “overcome” and also “carry on”
How they cower in their homes afraid to walk at night alone
For the fear of this reverberant hum, it amasses as it
Is carried down the line by the other children
As they march in a line, and their feet beat in time
Making the sounds that amound billowing over their heads
For you cannot escape the cries of the dead

~ by Sumiko Saulson on January 28, 2023.

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