In the Wake of Gunshots

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I have judged you
you don’t really need to care
whatever
time will collect
soon enough what you owe
and it won’t matter
that I have judged you
and your choices
your excuses
your alibis of where you were
and where you’d rather be
than home
taking care of business
and whom you’re supposed
to be doing all that for
keep fooling yourself
but you’re not fooling me
with those lies you’ve repeated
compounded through the years
into the reality of the children
you’ve turned your back on
because parenting
does not get paid in currency
and you have better things to do
with your time
and a woman like you
got to get that paper
OK
I get it
but please
don’t insult me
and offer me pocket change
to fix your broken children
just so you could feel better
for all the times you weren’t there
and all the corners you’ve cut
in giving them love
and teaching them values
and showing them how to be people
there are no miracle workers
working this block
when you would not roll up your sleeves
and dirty your hands
to own up to what’s yours
you’ve botched so many opportunities
and before you know it
they’re grown and too far gone
promise turns into problems
and no amount of shiny things
can clean up a mess
in a person’s character
the handprints of the village
can smudge up scars
but not the emptiness
of knowing they didn’t have you
when they were bleeding
too late, too late…
.

OttawasGraffiti_byPhilippeDumont
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“Ottawa’s Graffitis” by photographer Philippe Dumont

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