Is there an echo in here?
I could swear I heard that same gunfire just last night:
The first shot, Isolated, hesitant,
Then an answering triplet when the shooter concludes
He's past the Point of No Return.
The next morning Campus Safety tells the story
Sterilized: a block and time, a shooting in two
Sentences, with no blood. And the news breaks
And we reflect again on the tension:
Gentrified Temple, our ivory tower
Just a block too near the slums.
On Friday night
Drunken twenty-something white kids in troupes
Troop past drunken forty-something residents on stoops
We fear their violence; they hate our arrogance
And chafe with the disparity of opportunity
Too close to home to ignore.
On Eleventh Street, a foreign studies major
Buys groceries for a fifty-something neighbor
With arthritic knees. She invites him to dinner.
It's a good story, a better story,
But it lacks the gunpowder to resonate.