Fourteen Years

(A Open Letter to Nahom Tsegazab)

fourteen years
you shot two people dead
at a barbecue and you knew
to brazenly pull triggers
fire into a crowd of niggers
trying to leave another shooter dead
but instead
Shyanne Charles and Joshua Yasay
felt the burn and churn as life
left them right at that central moment
last breaths made it their last day
and all you got for your part in this plot
two young people shot
destined to die in shock and fear
is fourteen years

stay warm in your cell on cold winter nights
for your poorly thought out plots
resulted in two plots of frozen dirt
with two bodies of frozen dreams
too early taken when too late
to dodge when you squeezed off eleven
while a shooter who hit you two times
was too cowardly to face fate
Joshua’s back split
as he kissed the dirt a final time
and Shyanne lay riddled and dying
mother screaming her name
your motivation and recklessness
a riddle none of us living and left behind
will ever be able to solve
no amount of regret you expressed
as you were sentenced to hard time
will ever take away her pain
when she lost her child
to an assassin’s stupidity
at the age of
fourteen years

the hard time to be served by
the survivors and families of Danzig
is a life sentence
the worst kind of run-on with
punctuation of tears and stolen aspirations
conjunction of pain and anger
two lives with unending ellipses
where instead there should have been a novel
you created short stories in their place
truncated unsatisfied promise
and the poetry of their passions
shredded like so much paper
cuts so deep we can do nothing
except bleed at their full stops
while you live to write your sentence
for fourteen years

so as i think about the reality
that fourteen years after birth
Shyanne Charles’ life
was snuffed out by 9mm
and .40 calibre bursts
as people semi-automatically
dove for safety while another
fired fourteen times at innocents
destroyed so much innocence
on that Scarborough evening
that proved twilight for Joshua
eerie stillness of what was moments before
vibrant bodies inhabited with the joy of youth
their deaths infuriating truth
of what happens when the young
take others’ lives into their hands
i do not think we will ever understand
my mind weeps with the knowledge
that in total you will serve the length
of Shyanne’s total lifespan
should you remain in jail
for the full length of your penance
though our system believes this to be
a just and appropriate sentence
there is just no way to resuscitate
two cadavers that lay cold and soaked with
our tears

may you rot like their bodies
behind bars of your making for all
of your fourteen years.

© A. Gregory Frankson, 2014. All rights reserved.


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