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Bloody Monday

Bloody Monday

I was not supposed to be there, Mommy Charles had insisted I stayed home from school, but being young and feeling invincible will drive a person to making snap decisions. I was curious, I was not able to see what was going on from the window in the house on Lucas street. And now, here I was, running, running, running from the hooligans with machetes, running from the large sticks they were swinging over and over. Running from the teargas, eyes watering, lungs burning. People stampeding, hurdling fallen bodies, screams, angry cursing, blooded school kids, screaming mothers. Then it echoed, one shot, and the screaming crowd became a murmur, like I had dove into the ocean. I was not close to the shot, I just think my humanity died for a second. But I was still running, round the corner onto Lucas street, then back to that house overlooking the harbor. Sitting in the living room, struggling to breath, I was not exhausted, I was being stifled by fear. Outside the screams continue, angry yells, “Yuh go dead, yuh go dead,” Silent pleas, crack of a stick on bone, then a mob of anger. I covered my ears with my hands, lay on the concrete floor, waiting for the nightmare to end.

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POEMS

Day of the riots (Sometime in the 1970s)

I stand on the edge of nowhere

A place where civilization and common sense part ways

I hear a baby cry and I wanted to go to her

But my legs refuse to move

A woman moans in pain next to me

But I don’t turn around for fear she might need me

Grown men on their hands and knees

Waiting for me to help yet still I don’t move

An old lady walks up to me

“Are you ok Sonny” she asks

My name is Andy I swim through the clouds and always come out on the other side

“Are you going to help them?”

My name is Andy I take care of the world

But I can’t help asking, who is going to take care of me.