ODE TO A GANGBANGER

The Big Tent Poetry http://bigtentpoetry.org/2011/04/monday-prompts-april-4/ prompt for day four of NaPoWriMo http://www.napowrimo.net/ is, “Write about a broken window.” Poetic Asides’ prompt was to pick a type of person and write about him or her. I’ve combined the two.

ODE TO A GANGBANGER
by Mike Patrick

Bullet hole in a window

Flickr image by Ivan Cabrera

Cracks spider-web out from the central hole.
So many changes from such a small thing,
so many lives changed.

The police found fourteen spots
pitted in the north-side bricks.
Fourteen bullets struck the bricks
and one, only one, the window.

Melissa had no enemies.
She was four and knew only love;
a perfect angel from birth to death,
she remains an angel now.

Ode is the wrong word to describe this format, but the street gangs need a poem to recognize their many accomplishments.

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8 Responses to ODE TO A GANGBANGER

  1. Very truthful ode, the gangs have enough though. There are many movies and documentaries (gangland) about these evildoers and their exploits. Good to shine a light on it though, sometimes people forget.

  2. ladynimue says:

    This was sad !
    This happens i realize .. so much more sad than reading about it !
    Wonder till when innocent people will be punished for others !

  3. vivinfrance says:

    I agree, ode is perhaps not the right word for this heartbreaking poem – maybe elegy covers it? or threnody (an ode or song of lamentation)?

  4. earlybird says:

    A terrifying subject to reflect on (I agree, I don’t think it should be an ode somehow…)

    I like the image of the spider’s web very much.

    Maybe a typo in l6? (struck not stuck?)

  5. earlybird says:

    or maybe not, actually. Maybe you meant stuck. I apologise!

  6. Tilly Bud says:

    I hope this is not a true story, but I fear it is.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I’ve seen them shaken to death and beaten to death, but never killed in a drive-by shooting; however, this is getting to be a common story in the local paper.

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