by Clayton McSheridan

We were caught by a security guard
with the candy in our pockets.
We couldn’t pay for it,
so he took us in the office
where he threatened to call the police.
I knew he was full of shit,
but you were scared to death.
You would tell all our friends you weren't,
but we both knew better than that.

Years later, this moment would pass
through my mind as I stared down at you,
in a donated gray suit and shoes
that were too big.

I remember thinking about your last moments,
your father standing over you drunk,
and you on the floor sucking air
through the hole in your chest.

I think about you now because
I sit here alone,
and because I’ve tried to forget
for too long.
I wish you could be here,
things are so different now.
The old neighborhood,
the gangs,
the people,
all just a memory,
like you.

But tonight, I’ll close my eyes
and you will be here,
young, alive,
with pockets full of candy,
and shoes that fit.



Thanks for the contribution, Clayton.


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