It had just been any Friday,
till the sun went dark
and my mother’s words came
dressed in her night-time voice.

From front row seats, all eyes watched
in black and white denial.
Soon the yards bulged with kids
herded away, out from underfoot.
We were of the times and so
commenced to play our outside wars
with zeal and seasoned cinematic flair.

Tommy and I laid siege to his house,
finally bursting through the kitchen door
amid the heat of battle, our finger-guns ablaze.
The assault was swiftly quelled
by a single crumpled, sobbing woman.

There was no escape from the black cook's eyes
as she wailed in her wounded pain.
We had brought the dead to stand before her
and hadn't even known his name.
Our faces fell silent, our fingers jammed
as she turned and fled the room.

At six we had not yet seen death
nor knew on that bright fall day
witless we had acted out
the eclipse of a people’s hope
in the loss of that single man.