On Mission

They say we’re safe now.
New schools,
cool shoes,
new rules,
This is the right thing to do.
They’ve cut the shoelaces of those
Jordans that hung from the telephone wires
on Market street.
There are new places to eat and
no one’s getting beat
but, we’re bereft of those beats.
You know, the ones that used to fill the streets
and the halls;
before strip malls,
sounds inviting and rich
filled the space around us.
Quickly stitched
together was this
patchwork quilt,
only a scrap of us here and there,
embroidering the initials
of the kid who died
you know, his legacy lived on a beloved wall
before this place was
The other day it was painted over,
no place to offer
or to remember
except that altar in the community center.
Is there a gift receipt for that?

Erin Valoroso ’18

Leave a Reply